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German footballer Mesut Özil and teammate targeted by ‘armed car-jackers’

German footballer Mesut Özil and his Arsenal teammate Sead Kolasinac were attacked by 'knife-wielding car-jackers' in a terrifying ordeal which was captured on video and circulated on social media.

German footballer Mesut Özil and teammate targeted by 'armed car-jackers'
German footballer Mesut Özil and his Arsenal teammate Sead Kolasinac. Photo: DPA

In the footage, the Premier League club's Bosnian defender Kolasinac is seen leaping from the vehicle to confront the masked aggressors, who had pulled up alongside the car on mopeds in the Golders Green district of north London on Thursday evening.

Both attackers appeared to brandish knives at the 26-year-old Kolasinac. A YouTube video by the German football channel TeamEvil shows, through repeat footage, how Kolasinac fought off one of the attackers. 

“We have been in contact with both players and they are fine,” said a spokesman for Arsenal.

Police confirmed that they had responded to reports of an attempted robbery.

“It was reported that suspects on motorbikes had attempted to rob a man who was driving a car,” a spokesman for the Met Police told AFP.

“The driver, along with his passenger, managed to get away unharmed and travelled to a restaurant in Golders Green, where they were spoken to by officers.

“There have been no arrests. Enquiries continue.”

Kolasinac and midfielder Özil are not the first footballers to be targeted on London's streets.

In 2016, Andy Carroll, a former West Ham player, was threatened at gunpoint on his way home from training.

Controversy last year

In June former German international footballer Özil was married in Istanbul with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as his best man.

READ ALSO: Five key dates in the Mesut Özil saga

The 30-year-old, who has Turkish family roots, sparked controversy last year when he was photographed with Erdogan, raising questions about the footballer's loyalty to Germany on the eve of their disastrous 2018 World Cup campaign.

After 92 appearances for Germany, including a key role in the 2014 World Cup victory, Özil suddenly quit the national squad last July, accusing German football officials of racism.

READ ALSO: DFB president Grindel admits to mistakes in Özil affair

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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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