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FOOTBALL

Dortmund fans ‘cross the line’ in Thessaloniki

Borussia Dortmund (BVB) will face hefty fines from UEFA after fans lit flares and caused havoc during Thursday night's Europa League face-off with Greek club PAOK Salonika.

Dortmund fans 'cross the line' in Thessaloniki
Police clash with fans during the UEFA Europe League group C match on October 1st. Photo: DPA

“Embarrassing scenes” played out after the half time whistle during Thursday's match in Thessaloniki's Tuomba stadium, said BVB sport director Michael Zorc.

BVB fans travelled to the Greek stadium to watch the Bundesliga team's Group C fixture against PAOK.

Robert Mak's goal at the 34-minute mark gave the home team the lead heading into half time.

But things turned violent in the second half of the game, reports Frankfuter Allgemeine Zeitung.

Shortly after half time, play was halted as fans lit flares in the BVB stand.

As police intervened, flares were thrown at officers and paramedics.

BVB boss Hans-Joachim Watze spoke clearly of his frustration after the match.

“Such behaviour cannot be tolerated,” he  said.

BVB coach Thomas Tuchel added: “Our side was the one to begin with the fire attacks. It's extremely frustrating, and something we're not happy about.”  

After the violence died down, play continued – and a goal from BVB's Gonzales Castro leveled the scores with 18 minutes remaining. 

The game ended in a 1-1 draw.

But tensions rose again after the final whistle, with PAOK fans storming the Dortmund block.

The chaos left the German team uncertain whether to greet fans after the game, BVB said in a press release.

But after an on-pitch discussion, the team decided to thank fans for their support.

The players knew that it was “a small minority causing the chaos,” said Tuchel.

“The other 1,300 fans deserved the team to go over and thank them for their support. However, I can completely understand the question of whether they might have decided to take a stance.”

In the wake of the disruption, Watzke admitted: “We need to review what happened.”

“We will be given another hefty fine for this,” he explained, adding: “If you disrupt a match, then you've crossed the line.”

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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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