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FOOTBALL

Bayern ready for Chelsea, Berlin protests relegation

As Bayern Munich gears up for Saturday’s Champions League final against Chelsea in Munich, other battles are also shaping up elsewhere in German football.

Bayern ready for Chelsea, Berlin protests relegation
Photo: DPA

Berlin’s Hertha BSC is contesting its Tuesday loss to Fortuna Düsseldorf that was marred by fan disturbance – and sealed the team’s relegation from the first division.

The crowd trouble also prompted Germany’s interior minister to tell professional clubs they must agree on clear rules for fans to clamp down on bad behaviour.

Bayern Munich are bidding to lift the trophy for the first time since 2001, having reached two of the last three finals.

Captain Philipp Lahm said his side must beat Chelsea if they want to be considered part of the club’s “golden generation”. He played in the Bayern team that lost 2-0 at the hands of Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan in the 2010 final in Madrid.

Current club president Uli Hoeneß and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, meanwhile, were part of the Bayern team that won consecutive titles in 1974, 1975 and 1976.

The Berliners are fighting on a different level. The club’s managers said that the chaos ruined the match, and filed a protest that the game did not end fairly, the Berliner Zeitung reported on Thursday.

Düsseldorf fans stormed the field with more than a minute left to play, forcing the referee to stop the game for some 20 minutes. Hertha’s lawyer said the team only returned to the field because the police asked them to, fearing an early end to the game would provoke more chaos and even bloodshed.

The German Football Association (DFB) will take up the Hertha protest, filed on Wednesday, at a meeting on Friday, a spokesman said. An investigation has already been launched, while Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said clubs must get control of their fans.

“All 54 professional football clubs must agree on rules of conduct before the start of the new season,” he wrote in the Kölnische Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper..

Security is expected to be exceptionally tight at Bayern’s sold out Saturday game against Chelsea, which netted more than a million requests for tickets.

The Olympic Stadium will be open for public viewing as Lahm will lead the Munich team, eager to make history by lifting the Champions League trophy for the second time and claiming the club’s fifth overall European Cup title.

“You need an international title if you want to become a golden generation,” said the 28-year-old.

“You want to lift the cup when you are in a final. And of course it is nice to be the first one to lift it. I don’t have many more years at the top level.”

Bayern have been licking their wounds since being hammered 5-2 by Borussia Dortmund in last Saturday’s German Cup final and Hoeneß has warned that FA Cup winners Chelsea are a dangerous side.

“Chelsea are a team with their backs against the wall, because of their up-and-down season in the league,” he said.

“If they lose the final, they will not be in the Champions League next season and we all know what that means for a team like Chelsea.

“Anyone who thinks we have already won this match is certainly wrong.”

Bayern are bidding to become the first team since Inter at San Siro in 1965 to win the European title on home soil. Two years after defeat in Madrid, Lahm says the team has grown.

“We have many players who were playing for us in 2010,” said Lahm. “We have developed, we have much more experience. The belief in winning the title is much bigger than two years ago.”

AFP/mw

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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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