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FOOTBALL

Löw pleads with German fans not to boo Gundogan, Ozil at World Cup

Joachim Löw has called on German fans to stop booing Ilkay Gundogan and Mesut Ozil after the Premier League stars found themselves at the centre of a political row.

Löw pleads with German fans not to boo Gundogan, Ozil at World Cup
Football coach Joachim Löw at a press conference in Russia on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

Gundogan and Ozil, who were born in Gelsenkirchen to Turkish parents, were jeered and whistled by fans during pre-World Cup friendlies after posing for a photo alongside Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Gundogan presented Erdogan with a Manchester City shirt signed “to my president” but said the meeting was not politically motivated, while Ozil has refused to comment. 

“My job is to get both players, who have certainly suffered from this situation, in good shape,” said the head coach on Wednesday at Germany's first press conference in Russia.

“It may be that these players will still be accompanied by whistles. So be it. I wish it were otherwise. My job is to get them in the flow to help the team.”  

READ ALSO: German or Turkish? Footballers' meeting with Erdogan stokes identity debate

The defending world champions play their first match against Mexico in Moscow on Sunday.

Steffen Effenberg is the latest ex-Germany international to say the pair should be thrown out of the team over the scandal.

In a bid to convince German fans they are committed to the German team, Gundogan and Ozil met Germany's President Frank-Walter Steinmeier before the World Cup and Löw asked fans to get behind the pair — so far to no avail.

The German Football Association is exasperated by the situation, which the refuses to go away in the German media.

DFB president Reinhard Grindel believes there is little more the players can do.

“If you take Ilkay Gundogan, he immediately made it clear he had made a mistake and talked to the president (Steinmeier). He has done everything he could,” said the DFB chief. “Nevertheless, he was booed.

“I think there has to be something deeper, a social-political issue, and the argument that it would all be over if Ozil voiced his stance has been refuted by the example of Gundogan.

“Now, everyone should work for Germany and give it their all. If he (Ozil) doesn't want to give an answer, then hopefully he will on the pitch.”

SEE ALSO: World Cup 2018 – A casual fan's guide to the German team

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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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