Ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Iceland, there is a corona case within the German national soccer team. This was confirmed by the German Football Association (DFB) to several media outlets. According to the DFB, one of the 25 players in the squad is affected.
The association did not give the name, and the affected person currently has no symptoms. According to unconfirmed information from the Bild newspaper, it is said to be Gladbach professional Jonas Hofmann.
"As things stand, the match against Iceland will definitely take place," DFB spokesman Jens Grittner said a few hours before the scheduled kickoff on Thursday evening (8:45 p.m.) in Duisburg.
"This news is of course bitter so shortly before the game," Bierhoff said. The DFB is in contact with the relevant health authorities. According to the contact investigation, it is currently assumed that there is "a maximum of one contact K1", i.e. first degree. This would mean that two players would be affected and would have to be isolated. The preparation for the game should continue as planned, it was said from the association side. So far, there had been no Corona case with the national team in the eight international matches played so far during the virus pandemic.
"This news is of course bitter so shortly before the game - for the coaches and the entire team," said DFB director Oliver Bierhoff on Thursday, "But we are confident that it will remain at this single case, as we have so far carried out all hygiene measures. Of course, we will implement all the requirements of the authorities."
At the team's meeting on Monday, Bierhoff had once again explicitly emphasized the strict protective measures in place for national coach Joachim Löw's selection, saying, "I hope that we can get through this without a Corona case, just like last year." Bierhoff referred, for example, to separate seating at meals and on the team bus, as well as constant mask-wearing, including at team and group meetings. Only during the two training sessions were the players together on the pitch, most recently on Wednesday evening in Duisburg.
Photo by Janosch Diggelmann