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FOOTBALL

Women’s World Cup sees record television audience

The Women's World Cup is proving popular in football-mad Germany as nearly 20 million viewers tuned in to watch the host team beat Nigeria and set a new television record.

Women's World Cup sees record television audience
Photo: DPA

Germany’s 1-0 victory in Frankfurt on Thursday was watched by an average television audience of 16.39 million people, 51.7 percent of the German market, which rose to 19.13 million, 64 percent, at its peak.

The average figure is a new record for a women’s football match here as it beats the previous best of 15.37 million viewers who tuned into Sunday’s opening game in Berlin when Germany defeated Canada 2-1 in Group A.

The figures compare favourably with the average figure of 21.9m who tuned in to watch Germany’s games at the men’s 2006 World Cup, which was also held here.

“It’s unbelievable that the viewing figures have been improved again,” Theo Zwanziger, the president of the German Football Federation (DFB), told SID, an AFP subsidiary. “The numbers show how much interest there is in women’s football.”

And former player Steffi Jones, the head of the organising committee, was also delighted.

“This is the kind of platform we want women’s football to have,” she said. “This is an opportunity to promote the sport and the media is making it possible.”

While Germans tuned in by the millions as midfielder Simone Laudehr’s second-half strike put the hosts in the quarter-finals, the interest was not so strong at the public viewing sites around the country.

A quiet night was reported at fan miles in other host cities in Berlin, Bochum, Möchengladbach and Leverkusen.

But at the fan mile in Frankfurt am Main – a huge success during the 2006 men’s World Cup – some 10,000 ignored the damp weather to cheer on their team.

However the women’s World Cup has not gone down so well with Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness who says there is little interest in the women’s domestic German league.

“The current marketing campaign is good, the women are playing well and the national team is incredibly popular, but in the (women’s) Bundesliga, there is still only 2,000 spectators per game,” he said.

France and Germany have qualified for the last eight and play each other in Mönchengladbach on Tuesday to decide who will win Group A.

AFP/mdm

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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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