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FOOTBALL

Footballers outshine English on Facebook

As long-standing football rivals England and Germany gear up for the Euro 2012 soccer tournament this summer in Ukraine and Poland, the competition has also heated up online.

Footballers outshine English on Facebook
Photo: DPA

Mass circulation paper Bild reported Saturday that the German side has overtaken England in the popularity leagues, by having more fans on Facebook.

Up to now England had the head start when it came to attracting supporters on the social media site. But Germany, who the paper triumphantly pointed out only set up their Facebook fanpage in December, has already steamed ahead.

Around 1.15 million German football enthusiasts follow their team’s posts on Facebook, which include interviews and photographs.

In contrast archrivals England only have about 1.1 million fans, 40,000 fewer than the Germans.

Bild even crowed that “Germany is already celebrating its first Euro 2012 victory!”

Ralf Köttker, the German Football Association’s media director, welcomed the news.

“When it comes to our team, the Facebook fans are agreed: ‘I like it and thumbs up for Jogi’s boys’,” he told Bild , referring to Joachim or “Jogi” Löw, the team’s coach.

Köttker added that he hoped many more German fans will follow the team on Facebook.

“We won’t let the online title be taken away from us,” he said.

The Local/smd

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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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