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FOOTBALL

Dortmund edge nervy Olympiakos match

Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp admitted he was relieved to pick up his first Champions League win as the German champions earned a 1-0 victory over Greek club Olympiakos.

Dortmund edge nervy Olympiakos match
Photo: DPA

Dortmund breathed life back into their campaign on Tuesday when forward Kevin Grosskreutz hit the winner on seven minutes with a curling thunderbolt from outside the area that gave Olympiakos goalkeeper Balasz Megyeri no chance.

After consecutive defeats at Marseille and then at Olympiakos a fortnight ago, the win at the sold-out Signal Iduna Park was Dortmund’s first in Group F and takes them to within three points of second-placed Marseille.

“We had a little bit of luck here, which has been missing from our recent results,” said Klopp, whose team drew 1-1 at home to Arsenal in their opening Champions League match.

Klopp changed things round before kick-off as he switched to a 4-3-3 formation from the 4-2-3-1 system which saw Dortmund win the German league title last season.

He gave 18-year-old Moritz Leitner his first start alongside captain Sebastian Kehl and Germany star Mario Götze, himself still only 19, in a more compact midfield and Klopp said he was happy with Leitner’s performance.

“We got off to a good start and the guys at the back of midfield pushed forward,” he said. “We deserved the win after what was a very good goal.”

Dortmund were rewarded for their early pressure when Götze laid the ball off to Grosskreutz on the edge of the area and the 23-year-old smashed his shot home from 25 yards for his debut Champions League goal.

After Arsenal were held to a goalless draw by Marseille in north London, Dortmund’s four points mean they are four behind the Group F leaders and three adrift of Marseille, while fourth-placed Olympiakos have just three.

The German champions still have their work cut out, with a trip to Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium next on their European programme on November 23 followed by a tricky final home match against Marseille on December 6.

The defeat puts Olympiakos bottom of the group with a trip to Marseille and a visit from Arsenal still to come.

AFP/bk

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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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