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EURO 2012

FOOTBALL

Footballers ‘should be forced to sing anthem’

Conservative politicians in Germany have come up with a novel way to inspire the national football team after their dismal defeat in Euro 2012 - force them to sing the national anthem.

Footballers 'should be forced to sing anthem'
Photo: DPA

Politicians from Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU), called for Germany’s national footballers to be obliged to sing the national anthem, in the hope of generating the extra patriotic fervour necessary to defeat the likes of Italy and Spain on the pitch.

“It should be part of the etiquette, that the players sing along,” Hesse Interior Minister Volker Bouffier told the Bild newspaper on Monday. “After all, they’re playing for the national team, not for themselves! It’s embarrassing enough that we even have to discuss it – really, the players should think of it themselves!”

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann sang from the same hymn book. “The national anthem belongs to international matches and the national team,” he said. “Anyone who doesn’t feel like it should stay at their clubs.”

The politicians were backed up by at least one German footballing legend. Franz Beckenbauer, who captained Germany on their way to World Cup and European Championship success in the 1970’s, introduced an obligation to sing the national anthem when he became coach of the national side in 1984.

“That’s how we became World Champions in 1990,” the Kaiser commented.

Coach Joachim Löw always sings the national anthem, but does not oblige the players to do so, and there has been some criticism of players, like Mesut Özil and Lukas Podolski, who choose not to sing along before the game.

But Federal Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, also of the CSU, struck a note of discord. “One doesn’t now need to look for all the possible reasons why the semi-final was lost,” he told the Bayerische Rundfunk broadcaster.

The Local/DPA/bk

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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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