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Covid wreaks havoc in Germany camp ahead of qualifier

Injured Draxler joins Suele, Gnabry, Kimmich and Musiala on sidelines

Antonio Rüdiger, Ilkay Gündogan, Julian Draxler and Leroy Sane of Germany are seen during a training session at training ground D on November 09, 2021 in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Antonio Rüdiger, Ilkay Gündogan, Julian Draxler and Leroy Sane of Germany are seen during a training session at training ground D on November 09, 2021 in Wolfsburg, Germany.
Image: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Wolfsburg - Germany winger Julian Draxler was ruled out injured ahead of today's World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein, a day after five other players were sent home following a positive Covid-19 infection.

Defender Niklas Suele had tested positive and team mates Serge Gnabry, Joshua Kimmich, Jamal Musiala and Karim Adeyemi were sent into isolation following local health rules.

"As you know we have invited new players and many other have now left us," Germany coach Hansi Flick said on Wednesday.

"Now Julian (Draxler) was added to this list. He has a muscle injury (in his) right leg. He will be ruled out and I don't know for how long."

The Germans have already booked their spot for next year's tournament in Qatar ahead of today's game and the match against Armenia on Tuesday.

But the infection of a national team player reignited a public debate over Bayern Munich midfielder Kimmich's repeated refusal to get vaccinated, with Flick saying even though he supported vaccination every person had the right to chose.

"My conviction is that we have to be vaccinated," Flick said. "Especially in professional football. There is no mandatory vaccination.

"At the end of the day everyone has the responsibility but also the right to refuse it. I think that if we want to get out of this pandemic then we should get vaccinated."

But Flick said he was now focusing only on the two matches and fielding a team that can deliver attractive, attacking football despite the many changes.

"We just cannot complain, things move on and we have to have faith in the players who are here and have great quality," Flick said.

"Following the positive test there was some unease but we have to move on. We have to deliver tomorrow and that is our goal." 

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