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FOOTBALL

Holland loom large as Germany shed stars

Germany take on neighbours Holland in an international friendly on Wednesday with head coach Joachim Löw facing an injury and sickness headache after losing six of his stars over the weekend.

Holland loom large as Germany shed stars
Photo: DPA

Löw has concerns after Bayern centre-back Jerome Boateng injured his groin during in Munich’s 2-0 win over Frankfurt on Saturday, while Dortmund left-back Marcel Schmelzer hurt his foot in their 3-1 win over Augsburg.

There was more bad news as vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger cried off with a virus on Sunday, while Bayern team-mate and fellow midfielder Toni Kroos has stomach problems.

And on Monday it was confirmed that Mesut Özil and Miroslav Klose would not play.

Klose, the only out-and-out forward in Löw’s original 22-man squad for the game, is suffering from flu while Real Madrid midfielder Özil has muscle problems.

On Sunday night, Löw called-up Borussia Dortmund midfielder Sven Bender, who had two caps, and Eintracht Frankfurt right-back Sebastian Jung, who joins the senior German squad for the first time, as cover.

Holland, under former Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal, host the Germans in Amsterdam with the guests determined to prove last month’s 4-4 draw with Sweden – after having built up and thrown away a four-goal lead, was just a blip.

“From an educational point of view, it would be the wrong approach if we spend a few hours talking about the Sweden game,” said Löw.

“We will certainly look at it as part of our preparations, but I won’t look at it for too long.

“Dealing with the last 30 minutes is a continuous process.”

Despite a cold, Bayern forward Thomas Müller insists this is one game he does not want to miss.

“This is a class event, which we are all looking forward to,” said Müller.

“We’ll be representing our country will complete passion and doing what we were born to do: play football for Germany.”

But not everyone shares Müller’s passion for the friendly: Bayer Leverkusen boss Rudi Völler has questioned the logic of a meaningless international in the middle of the Champions League and Europa League programme.

“The problem is the players have a lot of demands on them at the end of the year,” admitted Löw, who has said he will use his bench.

Schalke 04 defensive midfielder Roman Neustädter could make his debut, especially with Real Madrid’s Sami Khedira and Schweinsteiger injured.

Also, Hamburg goalkeeper Rene Adler has forced his way back into the squad after some impressive displays in the Bundesliga and is battling Bayern’s Manuel Neuer for Germany’s Number One shirt.

“We will deliver a high-intensity game,” said Löw.

“Matches against the Netherlands are always special, even if it is a friendly match only. There is a lot of prestige on this fixture.”

AFP/hc

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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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