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Qatar decision spurs call for IAAF reforms

The honorary president of the German Athletics Federation (DLV) has suggested a reform of the selection process after Qatar was awarded the 2019 world athletics championships last month.

Qatar decision spurs call for IAAF reforms
Doha will host the 2019 IAAF World Championships. Photo: DPA

Qatar was chosen to host the world championships by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) on November 18, beating bids from Eugene, USA, and Barcelona.

The decision has been strongly criticised by human rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch because of the treatment of migrant workers in the Middle Eastern state.

"The general opinion has been critical of the decision for good reason," Helmut Digel, the DLV's honorary president and a member of the IAAF's board, told Munich-based newspaper the Süddeutsche Zeitung.

"It's incomprehensible, after all the problems surrounding the awarding of the 2022 World Cup and the 2015 Handball World Cup (which will also be held in Qatar), that the world of athletics has chosen Qatar.

"The Qataris acted according to the rules, the only question is whether we are thus securing a future where cities are played off against each other."

"In such a game, there are the privileged states that control the economic centres.

"As a result, fewer and fewer cities from western democracies will be candidates, where the applications are associated with democratic decisions."

Shortly before the vote, Qatar had promised the IAAF a sponsorship package worth €30 million.

"This sponsorship offer was clever, legitimate and not unusual in the world of sport," said Digel, who has been on the IAAF board since 2007.

"The letter was copied fifteen minutes before the vote and given to each council member.

"This is a legal process. From an economic perspective, it would considerably improve the IAAF's position."

Digel added that he feels it is imperative western cities have a legitimate chance of hosting future major events to maintain a strong sports culture.

SEE ALSO: FIFA ethics report 'wrong', investigator says

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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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