By Chris King • 02 October 2021 • 0:25
Image of the city of Cetinje in Montenegro.
Credit: Google maps - Mirko Popovic
FIVE of England’s World Cup squad are reportedly refusing to be vaccinated, with the finals in Qatar under twelve months away
It has been reported that five of England’s World Cup squad for Qatar 2020 have refused to be vaccinated, with three of them apparently senior members of Gareth Southgate’s Euros squad.
Organisers of the finals in Qatar have hinted that unvaccinated people will not be allowed to enter the country. This is something which could now throw the England plans into turmoil, with two more qualifiers coming up this month, against Andorra, and Hungary. Wins in those two matches can all but seal qualification.
The England squad is due to travel to Andorra sometime next week, and it has been touted that the five could possibly be given special exemption to allow them to avoid quarantining and go straight into training. If this was to happen it is very likely to spark a lot of anger and backlash against the England team.
Southgate even fronted a vaccination campaign in July before the Euros, telling the nation in a recorded video message, “There’s no doubt the vaccination programme is our best route out of this problem”. However, the England manager later revealed, “Of all the things I’ve received abuse for over the summer – of which there’s been several – that’s the one I’ve received the most abuse over”.
A source from inside the camp has told The Sun that the five players have given a multitude of reasons as to why they don’t need to be vaccinated. Some are said to have been put under pressure by their wives, who are anti-vaccine. Another younger player allegedly claimed he was too young and fit to be affected by the virus.
The source told The Sun, “Dressing rooms and Whatsapp groups are awash with anti-vax conspiracy theories. Many senior players have been duped by online arguments and myths against the vaccine. And they’re refusing to change course. If Qatar presses ahead with plans to demand Covid vaccine passports from fans and players, it’s going to come to a head”.
Nigel Huddleston, the Sports Minister, commenting on the situation, said, “It’s disappointing to hear there may be some footballers unwilling to get vaccinated, perhaps due to misinformation online”. While a spokesman for the FA said, “This is a private matter for individuals and their respective clubs as employers. Our preparations for the forthcoming internationals continue as normal”.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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Come on Qatar, no ifs or buts. Ban these selfish unvaccinated from entry. End of. Southgate needs to get a grip of the squad.
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