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FOOTBALL

Schweini had ‘no future’ at Bayern: German press

Manchester United fans may be delighting that they've secured a World Cup champion from one of their fiercest football rivals, but the German press view Bastian Schweinsteiger's transfer as good business on the part of Bayern Munich.

Schweini had 'no future' at Bayern: German press
Photo: DPA

When Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge announced that Bastian Schweinsteiger was leaving the club to play Old Trafford on Friday, he proffered the news with an element of cold realism that belied the 17-years' service and countless trophies the central midfielder had brought his team.

“He was an icon for the club. But even for icons a career comes to an end eventually,” Rummenigge said.

The bluntness of this statement was not lost on Spiegel journalist Sebastian Winter.

“Schweinsteiger is no longer needed by the the German champions. The manner of the farewell shows that the 30-year-old has no future – neither with the club nor with trainer Josep Gaurdiola,” Winter wrote.

The truth as many German journalists see it is that Schweinsteiger is almost 31 and his body is starting to creak underneath him.

So when a club comes along with a €15 million pot, you jump at it – and despite the official story that the decision was all the player's, commentators believe the club were more than happy to see him go.

The club themselves have conceded that Schweinsteiger's patchy playing record played a role in their thinking.

“This transfer has two sides, one emotional and one rational,” said Sporting director Matthias Sammer.

“Emotionally our respect for Bastian will always be huge. But in terms on rationality, it is the case that he was often injured recently and that over the last two years he couldn't be relied upon.”

After falling in the semifinals of the Champions League two years in a row there were calls for the squad to be rejuvenated in May.

Rumours have been swirling in Germany that coach Pep Guardiola had been agitating for the local hero to be moved on, something which he has repeatedly denied in public.

But German media have largely seen this as part of a PR strategy on the part of the club.

It would not have gone down well with fans if their Fußballgott ['football god'] had been pushed out by the club suits and a manager who is yet to bring the Champions League trophy back to Bavaria.

Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) points out that the club were less forthcoming with Schweinsteiger when it came to hard finances.

The player informed the press last season of wanting a contract until 2018 but the club never met his demands, with Sammer saying it was “difficult to look beyond 2016.”

In the 2014-15 season Bayern had already been playing Schweinsteiger out of position, and with Javi Martinez returning from injury central midfield berths would be at a premium in the coming season.

When there had been a place for the “greying old strategist,” it would have been on the bench, concluded Spiegel's Winter.

With the €15 million Manchester United have reportedly paid, Bayern “have been given money to solve a problem,” SZ write.

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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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