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‘A problem that touches all of society’: German federation ‘dismayed’ over referee attacks

The German football federation says it is "dismayed and shocked" by a spate of attacks on referees as one match official recovered in hospital after a vicious assault.

'A problem that touches all of society': German federation 'dismayed' over referee attacks
A referee giving the red card. Photo: DPA

“We are dismayed, shocked and struck by the level of violence, rudeness and attacks against our referees in the amateur game,” the federation wrote in an open letter of support to referees which it said it sent to all its 24,544 clubs.

The DFB's cry of alarm comes after the referee in charge of a local Frankfurt game on Sunday was knocked unconscious by a player he had just sent off.

The official was helicoptered to hospital, where he remains three days later.

This attack followed a weekend strike this month by referees in Berlin in charge of amateur games in protest at the problem.

The DFB said that 80,000 matches are played under its auspices each week and that all 80,000 have referees.

“The formula is simple: no football without referees,” said the letter.

READ ALSO: 'I felt disrespected': Mesut Özil opens up on racism and German football

One club in the German capital, Friedenauer TSC, took the unusual step Wednesday of announcing it would be hiring a bodyguard to ensure the safety of referees at their games.

“The increase in violence, in particular against figures in authority, is a problem that touches all of society,” the DFB wrote in its letter.

“That in no way means that we turn our backs and leave the responsibility to politicians.”

The federation appealed to police and prosecutors to be more diligent when investigating these attacks.

“Football pitches are not no-go zones, attacks on referees are crimes…and so must be treated under the penal code,” the DFB said.

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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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