German football seeks new president

German football has launched a bad-tempered search for a new boss after the shock resignation of the DFB football association president with a meeting to discuss the options set for this week.

German football seeks new president
Photo: DPA

Theo Zwanziger plunged the German football world into turmoil on Friday night by announcing his resignation – and infuriated many of his erstwhile colleagues by announcing it in the sensationalist newspaper Bild before telling anyone else.

And while anger at the way the 66-year-old made his announcement was still fresh, Zwanziger nominated his preferred candidate to take over – Erwin Staudt, former head of VfB Stuttgart – bypassing the man who considered by many as a worth heir, DFB secretary general Wolfgang Niersbach.

Zwanziger has been in charge of the DFB since 2004, and was due to continue in his job until the end of 2013. He will now step down in October 2012, just after the end of the UEFA European Championship next summer.

Zwanziger’s presidency started off well, the Frankfurter Rundschau paper reported on Monday. It said he modernised and liberalised the association, managing the 2005 match fixing scandal surrounding Robert Hoyzer well, and reacting sensitively to the suicide of national team goalkeeper Robert Enke in 2009.

But his reaction to the tax avoidance scandals affecting a row of referees was heavily criticised, while public spats over the contract extensions of national coach Joachim Löw and team manager Oliver Bierhoff damaged his image further. He then joined the executive committee of world football association Fifa – itself in serious trouble over corruption affairs.

And although Zwanziger said he had made the decision to resign after Euro2012 this summer, and that it should have been obvious he was leaving. Writing in Monday’s regional paper, he said the decision was, “neither impulsive nor actionist. In contrast, it is well considered.”

Yet he was heavily criticised, for poor style – and for his choice of successor – by Franz Beckenbauer, honorary president of Bayern Munich and widely known as the Kaiser of German football.

“No question, Dr Staudt is an exceptional man and super person as well. But he comes from the league. He would have to be elected by the associations, and there he has little chance. I believe the vote will go in a different direction,” said Beckenbauer.

“That is his style, making this decision practically alone,” said Beckenbauer, calling it an act of desperation. He said he thought Zwanziger had taken public criticism personally and said Niersbach would be the best man for the job.

Löw, training with the national team in Ukraine, said he was determined for the tumult to have no effect on the team’s campaign for euro 2012.

“We first heard the news in Kiev and were of course all surprised,” he said.

“But this will not disturb our concentration and preparations. We are concentrating on our job,” he said.

Although Zwanziger plans to stay in his job until October 2012, he could be forced out earlier to prevent what many delegates at this weekend’s conference of the German Olympic Sport Association called a lame duck presidency.

A DFB meeting hastily convened for Wednesday will discuss the candidates. Zwanziger’s successor will be elected by 172 votes from the amateur clubs and 74 from the professionals.

DPA/The Local/hc

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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.