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FOOTBALL

Germany closer to World Cup after Faroe win

Germany are now just one win away from securing their Brazil 2014 berth after a 3-0 win at 10-man minnows Faroe Islands in Tuesday's World Cup qualifier.

Germany closer to World Cup after Faroe win
Photo: DPA

The Mannschaft stay five points clear at the top of Group C, but Sweden’s 1-0 win over Kazakhstan earlier in the day means that Germany still need two more points from their final two games to confirm automatic qualification.

A single first-half strike by Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker was all Germany had to show for 74 minutes of endeavour until his Gunners team-mate Mesut Özil netted a late penalty.

Bayern Munich’s Thomas Müller then added a third in the dying stages.

The hosts from the remote north-west Atlantic archipelago, ranked 175th in the world compared to the second-placed Germans, succumbed to their eighth straight defeat in the group, but produced some dogged resistance.

“It was a mandatory requirement to pick up three points here and it was the sort of game we had expected,” admitted Germany coach Joachim Löw. “They stood with 10 men in the penalty area, they are a team who know how to defend well.

“If there is anything to criticise, we have to work on our final touch.

“We didn’t move as well after the break as we had in the first half and we have to improve our game in the final third of the pitch.”

Löw’s Germany are not the first team to have laboured against the islanders of late.

Italy won only 1-0 here in a Euro 2012 qualifier, while Sweden needed a 75th-minute winner from Zlatan Ibrahimovic to seal a 2-1 away win last October in the same group.

Germany have now won all four of their matches against the Faroe Islands, who were only granted FIFA membership in 1988, but Löw’s side made hard work of the win on the artificial pitch at Torshavn’s Torsvollur stadium.

After going close in the first half, Germany’s chances dried up in the second half before the two late goals.

The Faroes got off to a bright start, threatening the German goal after just 40 seconds, but the hosts’ midfielder Suni Olsen hit his own crossbar at the other end moments later when clearing a cross from Germany’s Julian Draxler.

Germany were denied a penalty when Lithuanian referee Gediminas Mazeika waved play-on after midfielder Johan Davidsen barged Özil off the ball after eight minutes.

Miroslav Klose then hit the post just before his side took the lead when Mertesacker tapped home after his centre-back partner Jerome Boateng had headed on an Özil cross on 22 minutes.

The visitors doubled their lead 16 minutes from time as the hosts were reduced to 10 men when Faroes defender Atli Gregersen was sent off for the slightest of touches on Mueller before Özil drilled home the resulting spot-kick.

Müller then fired home on 84 minutes after finishing a pass from captain Philipp Lahm and Germany can now wrap up qualification against Ireland on October 11th before heading to Stockholm to face Sweden four days later in their final qualifier.

AFP/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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