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Top German clubs worry about lopsided league

With Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund facing Barcelona and Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals, there are concerns the German league will suffer with the pair set to dominate the Bundesliga for years to come.

Top German clubs worry about lopsided league
Photo:DPA

Bayern host Barcelona in Tuesday’s semi-final first-leg having cruised to the Bundesliga title with alarming ease and a massive 20-point lead, while second-placed Dortmund, who have won the last two league titles, host Real Madrid on Wednesday in the last four.

Ironically, some are saying the Bundesliga could now suffer from a “Spanish situation,” similar to how Real and Barca are a class apart from the rest of La Liga.

Bavarian giants Bayern have won 22 of the 50 Bundesliga titles since the competition started, but this season has been extraordinary even by their lofty standards.

Having won 6-1 at Hannover 96 on Saturday to earn a record ninth away league win, Bayern have posted recent hefty wins, including a 9-2 pounding of Hamburg

and a 6-1 trouncing of Werder Bremen, both traditionally strong clubs.

Dortmund are one of only four teams to have avoided losing to Bayern in the league as Munich have claimed a record 26 wins from 30 games with four matches still to go this season.

Bayern president Uli Hoeneß has voiced concerns of the Bundesliga following the Spanish league, where either Barcelona or Real Madrid have shared the title every year since Valencia’s win in the 2003/04 season.

“There’s a big difference in performance levels in the German league,” Hoeneß told magazine Kicker, having also discussed the matter with Dortmund’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke. “I find the idea of two or three teams pulling away not good. We can’t be comfortable with that.”

Hoeneß has said the Bundesliga clubs must act to make sure the revenue from television money is distributed fairly amongst the 18 teams to ensure every club has a fair chance of competing for the title.

Christian Seifert, CEO of the German Football League (DFL) has ruled out any immediate change to the cash distribution, which currently sees Bayern and Dortmund take the top amounts of €5.8 million and €5.6 million respectively of the €100 million available from television rights and sponsorship.

“The distribution has been decided for the next four seasons and was voted by all the league clubs unanimously,” Seifert told Kicker. “The DFL has not received a signal that this should change. Even if both of the top clubs waived their share, or even doubled it, the other 16 clubs wouldn’t exactly take a giant step forward.”

Dortmund’s Watzke, whose club came back from the brink of bankruptcy in 2005 to win the last two Bundesliga titles, has said there must be research before any financial changes are made.

“You have to find out if there is a need to make a change,” said the Borussia CEO. “My gut tells me though that things aren’t as in order as they seem.”

Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp compared this season’s Bundesliga title-race to the Scottish league where Celtic are now dominant after the demise of Glasgow neighbours Rangers.

“Unfortunately, no, I fear more a ‘Scottish situation'”, said Klopp, who led Dortmund to the league and cup double last season.

“It is nice that we have climbed on board to challenge Bayern, but at the end of the day we just have to hope we can get a slice of the pie.”

Dortmund’s bitter rivals Schalke also said it was up to the league’s other clubs to offer Bayern some competition.

“Bayern Munich are the top side,” said Schalke’s general manager Horst Heldt.

“That has always been so and will remain so, even if there is another German champion now and then. Behind them everything is open.”

AFP/mry

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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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