Unvaccinated England stars ‘WILL be allowed to play at the World Cup’
Unvaccinated England stars ‘WILL be allowed to play at the World Cup’, with Qatar preparing to ease requirements and test them instead amid FIFA fears players would miss the tournament, include FIVE from the Three Lions
- Unvaccinated England stars look set to be able to play at next year’s World Cup
- Comes after reports at least five Three Lions stars have refused to have Covid jab
- Players may be able to show proof of Covid recovery or negative tests instead
Unvaccinated England stars look set to be able to play at next year’s World Cup in Qatar following reports at least five Three Lions players have refused to have the Covid jab.
FIFA are in talks with Qatari authorities about scrapping the mandatory vaccination requirements for the showpiece tournament in 2022.
Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani announced in June that it would require any fans wanting entry into next year’s tournament to be fully inoculated against the coronavirus.
FIFA and Qatari officials are discussing the possibility that fans, players and officials will be able to provide proof of having recovered from Covid-19 or produce negative tests, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing discussions.
Qatar World Cup organisers and the Qatari government did not respond to a request for comment.
The girlfriend of England star John Stones reposted an anti-vaxx message on Instagram earlier this week.
England’s players pose for a team photo before the UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying group A match between England and Montenegro at Wembley. There is no suggestion those pictured are refusing a vaccine
There are fears posts by Olivia Naylor (pictured) to 45,000 Instagram followers will dissuade others from having the vaccine
His girlfriend applauded a recent post (pictured) highlighting comments from basketball star Jonathan Isaacs, who claimed he’d be protected from the virus by natural immunity
Beauty clinic boss Olivia Naylor uploaded a recent post highlighting comments from NBA basketball star Jonathan Isaac, who claimed he’d be protected from the virus by natural immunity.
It is feared the reposting by the England star’s partner – who has 45,000 Instagram followers — will dissuade others from having the vaccine.
It was reported over the weekend that the footballers have given a string of ‘nonsense’ reasons for not having the jab.
One said he was too ‘young and fit’, another believes it is a tool for government’s to spy on people, and others are said to have been pressured against having it by their anti-vaxxer Wags.
It comes as it emerged five Three Lions players, have refused to have the Covid vaccine – including three who helped the team reach the Euro 2020 final. It is currently not known whether Manchester City defender Stones is one of those.
England boss Gareth Southgate explained how managers aren’t allowed to know which players have been jabbed due to medical privacy
The first indication of a relaxation of Qatar’s vaccine requirements could come when FIFA releases the tournament regulations for the Arab Cup. Qatar’s Lusail Stadium pictured
HIGH-PROFILE PLAYERS WHO TESTED POSITIVE
Mikel Arteta (Arsenal manager)
Arsenal confirmed their boss had become the first manager to catch the virus last March, which prompted the Premier League to suspend the season.
Jamaal Lascelles & Allan Saint-Maximin (Newcastle United)
Lascelles and Saint-Maximin suffered from long Covid, ruling both players out of action for more than a month.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea)
The midfielder tested positive shortly after the Blues returned from Belfast after the Super Cup against Villarreal.
Ryan Bertrand (Leicester City)
The left back revealed he was still struggling in training a month after having the virus.
Karl Darlow (Newcastle United)
The goalkeeper spent three days on a hospital drip and was ‘severely worried’ after getting the virus before his first vaccine. Darlow is now urging footballers to have the jab.
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
The Argentina striker, now at Barcelona, was sidelined for several weeks dealing with the effects of Covid last season.
Granit Xhaka (Arsenal)
The Swiss midfielder caused controversy after it emerged he had declined the vaccine before contracting Covid.
Sportsmail revealed last week that there is widespread opposition to vaccines among Premier League footballers, with almost two-thirds of top-flight players yet to be fully jabbed, and many refusing altogether.
Meanwhile, club officials are complaining that dressing rooms have been ‘polluted’ by senior players spreading conspiracy theories involving Bill Gates, infertility and the power of vitamins.
England manager Gareth Southgate, who answered a call from NHS England to urge young people to get jabbed earlier in the summer, explained how managers aren’t allowed to know which players have been jabbed due to medical privacy.
‘Our medical team would know but even I wouldn’t — they wouldn’t tell me who is and who isn’t,’ he said.
Southgate received a steam of online abuse after taking part in an advert to ramp up the inoculation drive.
The first indication of a relaxation of Qatar’s vaccine requirements could come when FIFA releases the tournament regulations in the coming weeks for the Arab Cup. The 16-team tournament from November 30 to December 18 is being used as a test event for World Cup venues.
‘Qatar, as the host country, will provide the safeguards required to protect the health and safety of all involved in the competition,’ FIFA said in a statement.
‘All attendees must follow the travel advice from the Qatari authorities and the latest guidance from the Ministry of Public Health. Full information on Covid-19 safety measures will be communicated to all client groups as we approach the competition.’
For the first time on Sunday, FIFA offered direct encouragement for footballers to get vaccinated.
‘We encourage Covid-19 vaccinations,’ FIFA said, ‘and endorse the World Health Organisation’s position: Safe, fair, and equitable access is critical in all countries. Players should not receive priority access to vaccines.’