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EURO 2012

FOOTBALL

Ciao! Italians kick Germany out of Euros

Italy kicked Germany out of the Euro 2012 tournament on Thursday night with a 2-1 victory over Joachim Löw's suddenly unimpressive team. Italy will now take on Spain in the final on Sunday.

Ciao! Italians kick Germany out of Euros
Photo: DPA

Italy striker Mario Balotelli broke hearts with a first-half header and strike as the inexperienced Germans – the youngest of the 16 teams at Euro 2012 – failed to cope with Cesare Prandelli’s boys.

“The most bitter thing is that this team has so much potential for so much more,” said team captain Philipp Lahm as the Germans’s 15-match winning streak in competitive games was broken. “We were not clever enough,” he added.

The knock-out ensured their trophy drought dating back to Euro ’96 would last at least another two years to the 2014 World Cup, should they qualify.

While Germany had a faint lifeline when Mesut Özil converted a 92nd-minute penalty after a handball by Federico Balzaretti, it was too little, too late.

For all their potential and the impressive attack-minded football they showed in their Euro 2012 wins over Portugal, Holland, Denmark and Greece, Löw’s team clearly had no Plan B when things went wrong.

It is a very, very bitter defeat… We made some stupid mistakes and we shouldn’t have conceded the goals like that,” said Lahm.

Having dropped three of his forwards for last Friday’s 4-2 quarter-final win over Greece, Löw again tinkered with his starting line-up, but this time it back-fired as the Italians ruled the midfield in the first half.

Arsenal-bound Lukas Podolski was hauled off at half-time, striker Mario Gomez also made way for 34-year-old veteran Miroslav Klose after the break, while Toni Kroos barely troubled the Italian defence from the right wing.

“I wanted to strengthen things in midfield, which is why I brought in Toni,” explained Löw. “The goals we conceded came from mistakes, because we weren’t present enough around the area.

“We had things under control at the start, but after falling behind we took more risks and weren’t as well organised, he said. Adding “after going 2-0 down, we had to risk everything.”

Having finished third at the last two World Cups and lost the Euro 2008 final, this is the fourth consecutive tournament the Germans have reached at least the semi-final. Löw’s contract runs until after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

AFP/hc/jcw

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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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