Thomas Tuchel fears Chelsea will face ‘huge consequences’ if his unvaccinated stars are denied entry into France for their Champions League tie with Lille… but the Blues boss insists players are free to make their own choices
- Thomas Tuchel said Chelsea face big consequences’ due to France’s Covid rules
- France has imposed tough new laws on entry for the unvaccinated
- The government has warned sports stars will not be given special dispensation
- The rules could see Chelsea players barred from travelling to their match at Lille
Thomas Tuchel admits Chelsea are facing ‘huge consequences’ if unvaccinated players cannot go to France for their Champions League tie at Lille but holds firm to his views on freedom of choice.
‘At some point everybody not vaccinated will face some consequences,’ said Tuchel. ‘Does it make it wrong that they are not (jabbed)? I simply don’t know. I took a decision for myself. The majority took the decision to get vaccinated.
‘For us, isolated as a football team, there can be huge consequences if players are not allowed to travel to France and this can create problems for us. We may not be able to use key players, but we are aware of it and it is a constant noise.’
Thomas Tuchel is worried Chelsea will be affected by France’s ultra-strict border controls
France is barring the unvaccinated from entering and warned sports stars will not be exempt
France has imposed tough new laws, warning of no exemptions for sports stars but Chelsea are in talks with UEFA searching for a solution before they travel to Lille in March.
Tuchel’s squad will be granted a week off following Sunday’s game against Tottenham, and they will be free to travel abroad. ‘We tell them to be careful, there will be recommendations but in the end they are free citizens,’ he said.
Tuchel will hope a change of scenery can recharge bodies because their campaign is flagging. Defeat at Manchester City, last weekend, was followed by a draw at Brighton, three days later.
‘After the loss against City, the gap opened up enormously,’ added Tuchel. ‘Playing again on Tuesday, I could feel emotions take over. We want to be adult enough to look at the reasons why we feel this kind of fatigue.’
‘We tell them to be careful but they are free citizens,’ Tuchel said of unvaccinated players
Meanwhile, Harry Kane has told his Tottenham team-mates not to waste the chance they have been given to work with manager Antonio Conte.
‘He’s one of the best managers in the world,’ Kane told Sky Sports. ‘It’s a big opportunity now to take advantage of what we have. He’s a manager that demands a lot.’
On speculation about his own future, Kane would only say: ‘I just want to be playing at the highest level possible.’