Wolfsburg The emotional debate about vaccination skeptic Joshua Kimmich seems to be over, when Bayern colleague Niklas Süle’s infection is causing a stir in the national team.
After the Corona shock, Hansi Flick immediately switched to emergency mode.
Despite the turmoil surrounding defender Niklas Süle’s infection and the quarantine ordered from Munich for four other DFB stars around vaccination skeptic Joshua Kimmich, Oliver Bierhoff did not feel any state of shock in the national team. “I haven’t heard a line from Thomas Müller. But that will definitely come in the next few hours, ”the DFB director trusted in the comedy skills of the Bayern leader even in difficult situations before the qualification for the World Cup.
Bierhoff just came back from an extra long DFB team meeting at the Ritz Carlton in Wolfsburg’s Autostadt. He himself was not in demand as an entertainer, but as a crisis manager. After the emotional Kimmich debate about a possible or necessary vaccination requirement for their stars, the national team is deep in the corona trap again. “Of course you had to expect it. We knew what was in store for us, we have to accept that and deal with it, ”said the association manager.
For Bayern professionals Süle, Kimmich, Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala as well as the young Salzburg Karim Adeyemi, it went back home south on Tuesday – Corona quarantine instead of international match, it is said for the quintet. National coach Flick now has to reschedule a lot before the last home international match of the year on Thursday (8.45 p.m. / RTL) against Liechtenstein and nominated Maximilian Arnold and Ridle Baku from Wolfsburg and Kevin Volland from AS Monaco as the first immediate measure.
DFB team doctor Tim Meyer – an avowed vaccination advocate and since the outbreak of the pandemic as a top expert also active for UEFA and the DFL – was faced with the difficult task of explaining the medical and legal framework at the DFB press conference. Why were the four contacts around Kimmich who tested negative been sent to quarantine, but not four other companions of the double-vaccinated and symptom-free Süle on the journey to Wolfsburg? Meyer did not want to confirm that, apart from Kimmich, the three other DFB stars are also unvaccinated.
“Basically, vaccination is one of the criteria,” said Meyer. “The intensity and duration of the contacts” are also included. According to the general recommendation of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), close contact persons without symptoms no longer need to be in quarantine if they are vaccinated. The final decision in the specific case now lies with the Munich-Land health department at the home of the person concerned. The DFB has to deal again with its guidelines in the pandemic.
Lauterbach: “Vaccination protects against Covid”
“Schadenfreude is out of place now. I still hope that Joshua Kimmich will decide to have the vaccination. The vaccination protects against Covid, severe Covid endangers the level of play, “tweeted SPD health expert Karl Lauterbach. Flick, Bierhoff and Meyer had always made it clear that they also advertise vaccinations in the DFB circle.
The hosting of the Liechtenstein game and the last qualifying game for the World Cup finals in Qatar 2022 on Sunday in Yerevan against Armenia is currently not in danger. The DFB selection has already booked the World Cup ticket. The farewell party for Flick’s predecessor Joachim Löw is also to take place on Thursday before kick-off under 2G conditions in front of 26,000 spectators in the VW arena, which is sold out under Corona conditions. “We are pleased that we can give him a fitting farewell at the end of the year,” said Bierhoff.
Flick first had his players train in the hotel and postponed training on practice area D next to the VW arena by five hours to the afternoon. In addition to the five quarantine players, he also has to do without Florian Wirtz and Nico Schlotterbeck, who are absent due to muscular problems. Flick now has a total of 24 players in his squad.
Hofmann infected in March
The current Corona case is not the first among the national team. In March, Jonas Hofmann from Mönchengladbach had to leave the DFB quarter before the start of the World Cup qualification. Marcel Halstenberg from Leipzig was also not allowed to stay as a contact person at the time, he had played backgammon with Hofmann in the team hotel.
Before that, there had been a lot of turmoil in November 2020 about several corona cases with the then opponent Ukraine. Until shortly before the kick-off, the Nations League game (3: 1) in Leipzig was canceled. A few days later the 6-0 swat followed in Spain. Bierhoff immediately felt “reminded of last year”.
Several national players such as Müller have contracted the corona virus at their clubs since the outbreak of the pandemic. Last year Ilkay Gündogan from Manchester City made impressive statements about his suffering after his infection and warned against being too lax.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 211109-99-925903 / 7