Germany’s strict new travel restrictions have cast doubt over RB Leipzig’s Champions League last 16 meeting with Liverpool, after a government spokesperson told AFP on Monday that the rules do not exempt professional athletes.
The ban on travellers from countries hit by new, more contagious coronavirus variants such as Britain contains “no special provision for professional sportspeople”, an interior ministry spokesperson told AFP.
Introduced on Saturday and in place until February 17, the new rules could scupper Premier League champions Liverpool’s trip to Leipzig’s Red Bull Arena the day before.
Unless they are granted special exemption, Liverpool staff and players would be unable to enter Germany from Britain according to the rules.
While coach Jurgen Klopp would be allowed into the country as a German national, he would have to leave most of his team behind.
Germany introduced the tougher travel restrictions on certain countries in a bid to limit the spread of new coronavirus variants.
The countries affected by the ban are Britain, Ireland, Portugal, Brazil and South Africa, as well as the southern African kingdoms of Lesotho and Eswatini.
The entry restrictions cover arrivals by air, bus, rail and sea, and allow exceptions for medical workers and others in key jobs.
Yet the interior ministry spokesperson said Monday that there would only be “a few, narrow exemptions”.
Nigeria Not Yet Ripe For World Cup Triumph — Rohr
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr
Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr
Olusola Jide Jide
Wed Feb 24 2021
Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr has stated that Nigeria is not yet good enough to win the FIFA World Cup yet.
Rohr who stated this in a YouTube interview session with New Central TV also said Africa cannot challenge other continents for the coveted title.
“We are not ready to win the world cup, for some reason, First reason for me is the organisation, still a lots of problems in travelling arrangement, preparations and venue for games.
“France is the champions at the moment, where are they playing? They are playing in PSG, Bayern Munich. Four of them are world champions at their clubs also.
“When you have your players in the best clubs there is a probability that you are the best team in the world.
“So what we have in Nigeria for example, we have our players in Fulham, in West Bromwich. It’s not Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Manchester United or Barcelona. But the other ones have their players there.
“So it would be a miracle if we actually win the world cup, Rohr said.
Ex-Italy Defender Dies After Legs Amputated Due To COVID-19
Ex-Italy defender Mauro Bellugi had died after having both of his legs amputated following complications with Covid-19.
Bellugi was admitted to hospital in early November after being diagnosed with the virus.
He then underwent emergency surgery to amputate both of his legs after a pre-existing condition worsened.
The former Inter Milan player remained in a Milanese hospital and passed away on Saturday at the age of 71.
His loss has been felt across Italy where Serie A clubs all held a minute’s silence before kick-off at the weekend.
Ex-Green Eagles Goalie Found Dead in Bed
“I swore for them in the NFA or NFF when we came back from Mali 2002 African Nations Cup. They treated all of us: Shuaibu Amodu, Stephen Keshi and myself just anyhow. What basically happened was that, I was very angry at the time. So I went back home, stripped naked and put a curse on Nigeria football and they will know no peace until I am paid my money.”
Those were the words of former Green Eagles goalkeeper and assistant coach, Joe Erico, is his last interview with The Guardian.
The ever-smiling Erico was found dead in his bed in the early hours of yesterday. The news of his death threw Nigerian football family into mourning.
The former assistant coach of the Super Eagles and respected nurturer of talents was said to have complained of body pain and was treated for malaria, only to be found dead in his bed at dawn on Thursday.
Erico, popularly known as Jogo Bonito, belonged to the cast of the very best goalkeepers in the history of Nigeria’s senior team, and served at the same period as the revered Emmanuel Okala and Eyo Essien.
In 2002, Erico, Keshi and Amodu were brought in to do a rescue job for Nigeria as the ship to the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals tottered badly under Dutchman Johannes Bonfrere.
With three matches left in the campaign, and a must-win mandate for all, the trio got the job done and qualified Nigeria for Korea/Japan.
They also led the team to a bronze-medal finish at the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Mali early 2002. They were sacked soon on arrival from Mali. His death yesterday morning means all members of that historic triumvirate have now passed on. The duo of Keshi and Amodu had passed on in 2016.
Sadly, Erico never got his full reward for the part he played at Mali 2002 Nations Cup and the qualification to the World Cup in Korea/Japan. He was always in agony, whenever he spoke on issue concerning Nigeria football.
Erico claimed in his last interview with The Guardian that he had placed a curse on Nigeria football, hence the cycle of crisis. “The NFA or NFF will continue to swim in crisis until I am paid the salary and allowances owed me by the federation,” he said.
Born Joseph Bassey Eric in the Odukpani local government area in what is today known as Cross River State, Erico made his debut for then Green Eagles in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Zambia in Lagos in July 1973 (which Nigeria won 3-2), and then kept goal in all of Nigeria’s six matches at the 1976 Africa Cup of Nations in Ethiopia, where the Eagles finished third – the first time Nigeria would win a medal at the AFCON.
Erico was also in goal in all of Nigeria’s pre-tournament friendlies against Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania just before the team flew to Ethiopia.
NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, described Erico’s death yesterday as shocking.
“It is another sad day for Nigerian Football. Erico was among the very best of Nigeria’s international goalkeepers and also served the country with fervour and diligence as Assistant Coach of the Super Eagles between 2001 and 2002. He will be sorely missed. We pray that Almighty God grant him eternal rest and also grant his family and loved ones the fortitude to bear the big loss.”
Former Green Eagles winger, Adegoke Adelabu was in shocked when The Guardian broke the news of Erico’s death to him yesterday.
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