Germany v France in Euro 2022: Klara Buhl ruled out of semi-final with Covid

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    The 21-year-old has played in all four of her country’s games so far – all of which Germany have won, scoring 11 goals and not conceding any.

    France are attempting to reach the final for the first time when they face the eight-time winners.

    The pair meet in Milton Keynes for the right to play either England or Sweden in Sunday’s final at Wembley.

    German squad ‘subdued’ after Buhl positive test
    The German FA said Buhl is isolating but not showing symptoms and the rest of the team and staff have tested negative.

    “The most important thing is Klara is feeling very well and has hardly any symptoms, that’s why we were surprised to hear she is positive,” said Germany head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg at Tuesday’s news conference.

    “It has made us all a bit subdued. We knew it could happen and see this as our next challenge. We will try to stay in this tournament and provide some happiness for her.

    “We’ve tested everyone else and everyone seems fine. We had a meeting with the team and we can only influence the things we can influence.

    “We give support to the player and everyone got in touch with Klara. I know this team is so amazing so it will bring them closer together.”

    ‘We want to build history’
    France, who are in their first semi-final, needed extra time to beat the Netherlands 1-0 in the last eight.

    That victory saw Les Bleues make it to the final four after losing in the quarter-finals in 2009, 2013 and 2017, while they were also defeated in the semi-finals of the 2011 World Cup and 2012 Olympic Games.

    Boss Corinne Diacre has challenged her side, third in the world rankings (two places above Germany), to do something no French women’s team has done before and make it into a major final.

    “We have reached a milestone but it’s not at the end,” she said. “We really want to play this final and our ambition was to play on 31 July. Now we still have an important game to tackle.

    “We want to build history. The players and staff want to write our story now and we still have a little way to go.

    “I’m very proud because this team aimed at a big target; this team gives absolutely everything.”

    Germany defeated Austria 2-0 on Thursday, before France’s extra-time victory over the Netherlands two days later, although Diacre is not concerned at having less time to recover than their opponents.

    “It’s the calendar, it’s like that and we knew it from the start,” she added. “We’re going to do as we usually do, we’re going to adapt. I’m not worried.”

    ‘The next big step will be a greater challenge’
    Germany have won the tournament on eight of the 12 occasions it has been held, including six times in a row between 1995 and 2013, although they did lose in the quarter-finals in 2017.

    Oliver Bierhoff, the German men’s and women’s national team director, had previously said he expected Germany to make at least the semi-finals.

    After their win over Austria, Voss-Tecklenburg said: “If I take Oliver Bierhoff’s words that it’s a success to be in the last four of a major tournament then we have done that for now and it’s nice and makes us proud.

    “But, nevertheless, we want to win this semi-final and we know the next big step will be a greater challenge.

    “France have tremendous quality in transition and fantastic individual players with a lot of pace. We’ll give everything we have on Wednesday.

    “I believe France also respect us so it’s going to be a game of equals.”

    In England, Germany finished top of Group B with wins over 2017 finalists Denmark, who eliminated them five years ago, pre-tournament betting favourites Spain and Finland.

    France, unbeaten in 18 matches, came top of Group D after beating Italy 5-1 in their opener, followed by a win over Belgium and a draw with Iceland.

    Sunday’s final at the 90,000-capacity Wembley is sold out and could surpass the record attendance for any Euros match for men or women.

    Major travel issues for second semi-final
    This will be the fourth game held at Stadium MK, home of men’s League One side MK Dons, with the ground having a capacity of 28,600 for the tournament.

    However, a national rail strike is due to take place on Wednesday, meaning fans will not be able to travel to the game by train and are required to find alternative options.

    Spectators are being advised not to drive to Stadium MK either as there is no parking available, but there are spots available in the city centre at the National Bowl, which is a 40-minute walk away from the venue.

    A shuttle bus runs from the city centre to the stadium but tickets will cost £5 for adults and £2.50 for children – plus booking fees – while a bespoke coach service has been laid on by National Express from London.

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