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FOOTBALL

Ballack blasts coach Löw over dumping

Dumped Germany captain Michael Ballack has lashed out at coach Joachim Löw, suggesting Löw lied when claiming privately back in March that Ballack would no longer be part of the team.

Ballack blasts coach Löw over dumping
Photo: DPA

Speaking after a training session at his club Leverkusen on Sunday, Ballack said Löw’s account of the meeting, related on Saturday by German Football Association (DFB) general secretary Wolfgang Niersbach, was untrue.

“I’m disappointed to have to read fresh statements that do not correspond to the truth and to which I have to respond,” Ballack said, according to daily Bild.

The DFB had announced on Thursday that Ballack, a key part of the German team for the best part of a decade, would not play again in the national side.

The former Chelsea and Bayern Munich midfielder, 34, has not played for Germany since March 2010 when he was injured, and in terms of performance at least, his absence has not been felt.

“If the coach was supposed to have told Wolfgang Niersbach he said to me at our conversation on March 30, ‘Micha, that’s it for you and it’s time to give it away,’ or, ‘I’m no longer planning on you,’ then that is completely untrue. The exact opposite was the case.”

Ballack’s account of the meeting in March was that Löw said he regarded Ballack as being “on the right track” to get back in the team and saw him as “a fighter.”

“He encouraged me and told me not to give up.”

Niersbach told Bild: “I wasn’t there at the conversation but the coach has assured me several times that’s how it was.”

On Thursday, Löw himself had made a similar though less specific claim when he said, “I have discussed things openly with Michael Ballack, most recently in our meeting in March 2011 and in numerous phone calls.”

Löw said on Sunday: “I’ve read the statement by Michael and can only say I stand by my statements.”

The Local/djw

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FOOTBALL

British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.

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