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FOOTBALL

Klopp confirms departure from Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund coach Jürgen Klopp has confirmed on Wednesday at a press conference that after seven years at the reins he will be leaving the club at the end of the season.

Klopp confirms departure from Dortmund
Jurgen Klopp. Photo: DPA

The 47-year-old, who joined the club in 2008, has three years left on his contract but announced that he will step down in the summer because he is "no longer the perfect coach for this extraordinary team".

According to Bild, part of the reason behind the decision was a desire to recharge his batteries after a successful seven-year spell at the club, but Klopp denied this.

"It's got nothing to do with me being tired, and I have no intention of taking a year out. Nothing is planned," he said.

During the last seven years, Klopp has led Dortmund to two Bundesliga titles (2011 and 2012), a German Cup (2012) and the final of the Champions League (2013).

His team captured Europe's imagination in particular when they thrashed Spanish giants Real Madrid 4-1 in the semi-final of the Champions League in 2013 with their exciting brand of fast-paced football.

But BVB have encountered a difficult period this season, which saw Klopp's men struggling at the bottom of the table at one stage. Since then they have returned to a more comfortable mid-table spot.

He also denied that the current situation had influenced his decision, which he said was based only on the "future of the team".

He stressed the need for change and that he didn’t want the past to get in the way of the development of a young squad with "fantastic potential".

"For a fresh start big names need to go, and that's me. As long as I'm here, everything we do will be compared to past successes," he said.

Bild had suggested Klopp would be replaced by Thomas Tuchel, the 41-year-old who has taken a one year sabbatical after leaving Mainz in May 2014.

But unsurprisingly club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke refused to comment on Klopp's successor, and stressed that the club would not be rushed into finding someone before the end of the season.

The news has sparked speculation in England, where Klopp is being linked to a number of major jobs. Manchester City seems the most likely with current manager Manuel Pellegrini under severe pressure after a disappointing season, which was compounded by a 4-2 derby drubbing at the hands of rivals Man Utd on Sunday.

But again the speculation was squashed immediately by Klopp, who said he has had no contact with any other clubs.

Despite Klopp's bubbly personality there was a rather sombre atmosphere at the press conference. As such a glorious era in the club's recent history came to an end, everyone seeming slightly overcome with emotion.

"It's very unusual in football for a story to last seven years," Klopp said with a smile.

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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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