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UEFA’s Platini backs Germany to win Euro

UEFA president Michel Platini has said Germany are the best team in Europe at the moment and one of the favourites to win this summer's Euro 2012, ahead of their friendly with France on Wednesday.

UEFA's Platini backs Germany to win Euro
Photo: DPA

“Germany currently has the best team in Europe, they are very young and very creative,” the Frenchman told German daily Die Welt on Sunday. “They didn’t lose any of their European Championship qualification matches. They are the big favourites to win the championships alongside Spain.”

Platini, who led France to the 1984 European title on home soil, cast a critical eye over the current French team, coached by Laurent Blanc.

“We have two or three really good players like (Real Madrid’s) Karim Benzema and (Bayern Munich’s) Franck Ribery, but the rest are so-so,” admitted the 56-year-old.

Having made more than 70 appearances for France during the late 1970s and early 1980s, Platini said matches against Germany gave him several restless nights during his career playing for “Les Bleus.”

“I have had nightmares because of Germany,” he said.

“We lost to them on penalties in the semi-finals of the 1982 World Cup and again in 1986. “They were dramatic games.”

Platini has been the president of UEFA, European football’s governing body, since January 2007 and said having extra referees on the goal-line during matches was a better solution than installing cameras.

Since England had a Frank Lampard goal disallowed at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, debate has flowed as to whether cameras should be installed in the goal mouth to rule whether or not the ball crossed the line.

“Football is the most popular sport in the world because it has simple rules that can work anywhere,” said Platini. “It is always better to use people who can assess situations – for example, a handball, rather than install complicated technology.”

Euro 2012 kicks off on June 8 with Germany having been drawn in Group B

alongside Portugal, the Netherlands and Denmark while France face co-hosts the

Ukraine, Sweden and England in Group D.

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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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