Germanys Euro 2020 nightmare: Merkels hard line about to spark chaos over England clash

Joachim Loew says England's style will suit Germany

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England fans endured a nail biting wait to see who they would face in the last 16 of Euro 2020 on yesterday evening. Group F was one of the most highly anticipated cohorts, made up of current World Cup holders France, Germany, Euro 2016 champions Portugal and Hungary. Wednesday night’s double fixture saw a dizzying few hours of penalties and quick equalisers, with France in the end clinching the group, meaning England now faces an old sporting foe: Germany.

The two teams will come head-to-head next week in London’s Wembley Stadium.

Since the beginning of the tournament, strict quarantine rules in Germany have thrown into question the viability of teams travelling to and from the country.

Last month, one of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coronavirus policies saw German nationals playing in Britain fear that they might not be able to play for their country in the tournament.

This is because the German government views the UK as a coronavirus variant region.

The Interior Ministry confirmed to news agency DPA last month that professional athletes will not be exempt from new rules forcing German residents arriving from Britain to quarantine for two weeks.

A spokeswoman said: “The current regulations for entries from virus variant areas apply to all entries into Germany.

“These rules also apply to professional football.”

The logistics of the coming games are now being scrutinised.

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One team from a round of 16 match in London is meant to play its quarter-final in Munich.

Yet, with the strict rules imposed by Mrs Merkel, chaos could ensue.

As DW.com noted: “Unless UEFA [European football’s governing body] negotiates an exception, this game would seemingly not be able to take place as planned. London’s Wembley Stadium is hosting the semi-finals and final of the Euros.

“Additionally, it would appear that Germany players would have to quarantine for two weeks on their return to Germany should they play in the latter stages in London.

“There may be other major knock-on effects for teams playing in London and Glasgow who may end up playing in Munich.

“Non-German residents are currently not allowed in at all if coming from Britain.”

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UEFA said it was looking into the matter.

More recently, German MEP Peter Liese, of the Chancellor’s CDU party, joined other German politicians in urging UEFA to move matches from the UK.

In a statement, he said: “Our health is a priority.

“The spread of the Delta variant makes it impossible for 40,000 spectators to view the final match in London’s stadium.

“The alternative venues should not be chosen by UEFA according to where the most spectators are allowed, but according to which stadium or city has the best hygiene concept and where health protection is best guaranteed.”

He also wrote a letter to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, urging him to choose an alternative location for the final based on public health.

Mr Liese said Budapest should not be considered because it is the only European capital currently allowing full capacity in tournament games.

The stadium has held the 67,500 fans it was built for in at least one game.

Mrs Merkel, asked about the final this week, fell short of calling for the match to be moved.

She issued UEFA a warning, however.

The German Chancellor said: “The UK is a virus variant area, which means we will impose a 14-day quarantine on anyone who travels back from the UK.

“There are very few exceptions to that.

“And I hope that UEFA will handle this responsibility, and I wouldn’t think it would be a good thing if there were full stadiums there.”

The Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has expressed similar sentiment.

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