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Football: Germany’s Werner out of N. Ireland qualifier

Germany have injury woes up front for their key World Cup qualifier against Northern Ireland after first-choice striker Timo Werner pulled out on Monday.

Football: Germany's Werner out of N. Ireland qualifier
Timo Werner. Photo: DPA

After eight straight wins, Germany need just a point in Belfast on Thursday to be sure of a place at Russia 2018.

However, the world champions have both Werner, 21, and veteran striker Mario Gomez sidelined by injury.

Gomez twisted an ankle last month while Werner is out with neck and spine problems.

The RB Leipzig forward had complained of dizziness in last Wednesday's Champions League game at Besiktas, where the problems first emerged.

“Now is not the time to think about playing, we simply have to make sure that Timo is fit,” said Leipzig's coach Ralph Hasenhüttl after Werner missed Sunday's 2-1 Bundesliga win at Cologne.

Germany's head coach Joachim Löw has said he will not call up replacements.

Löw is likely to start either Moenchengladbach's Lars Stindl, Hoffenheim's Sandro Wagner or Manchester City's Leroy Sane up front against the Irish.

Germany are already without world-class goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, out until January with a fractured foot.

In midfield, Löw is missing Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira and Mario Goetze, who is still below-par after having only returned in August following seven months off with a metabolic disorder.

Germany expect a tough match in Belfast, where Northern Ireland have yet to concede a goal in their four home qualifiers so far.

The world champions ran out 2-0 winners when the teams met in Hanover last October.

Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng is set to make his first appearance for more than a year.

In Neuer's absence, Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen is set to keep goal.

READ ALSO: Five things we learned from the German Bundesliga matches

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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