Jurgen Klopp blasts unvaccinated footballers and compares ‘freedom’ of choosing against a jab to drink driving after revealing 99 per cent of his Liverpool stars have been protected against Covid-19
- Jurgen Klopp has criticised players who are refusing to get Covid-19 vaccine
- Liverpool manager Klopp likened refusing to get the jabs to drink driving
- Gareth Southgate doesn’t know which England players aren’t vaccinated
Jurgen Klopp has hit out at unvaccinated players and claimed if it is their ‘freedom’ not to be jabbed, they might as well argue it is their right to drink and drive.
Klopp, whose mother died of Covid-19 last year, said that 99 per cent of his Liverpool team were vaccinated but questioned why clubs weren’t allowed to quiz their players on whether they had had the vaccine.
Pressure is mounting on players to set an example to youngsters by revealing their vaccination status after reports that key members of Gareth Southgate’s England squad remain unvaccinated.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has criticised players who haven’t had the Covid-19 vaccine
Misinformation and myths surrounding the vaccination have circulated widely among footballers and even Southgate said that he doesn’t know who is inoculated in the England squad.
Taking charge of unvaccinated players could derail his World Cup plans, with organisers considering banning footballers who have not had the jab.
Klopp’s intervention comes as:
● A Mail on Sunday survey found that a quarter of Premier League first-team squads have had Covid during the pandemic.
● Premier League footballers from South America may have had the Chinese jab, denying them a quarantine exemption.
● Southgate told his players that everyone had a responsibility to get the jab to help the country emerge from the crisis.
● The head of the official fans’ association said players should be jabbed if a vaccine passport is introduced for supporters.
Klopp says that claiming you have the freedom not to be vaccinated is similar to asserting the freedom to drink drive when over the alcohol limit
England boss Gareth Southgate says he doesn’t know which of his players aren’t vaccinated
Players head to international fixtures this week, despite countries being on the UK’s red list, after the Government agreed to a relaxation of quarantine restrictions but only for fully vaccinated players. Klopp said that Alisson, Fabinho, Sadio Mane and Konstantinos Tsimikas would be able to travel to play games in red-list countries.
They will make use of the new quarantine rules for footballers that will allow them to train on their return. However, it is understood some players who were vaccinated in South America could have had the Russian Sputnik and Chinese Sinovac vaccines, which are not recognised for quarantine exemptions in the UK.
Klopp said: ‘We’ve all probably been in the situation where we had a beer or two and thought we still could drive but the law says we’re not allowed to, so we don’t.
‘This law is not for protecting me, it’s for protecting all the other people. The vaccination is the same.
‘I don’t understand why that is a limitation of freedom because, if it is, then not being allowed to drink and drive is.’
Reports have indicated recently that key members of the England squad remain unvaccinated
Southgate says he cannot know how many of his squad players are vaccinated.
‘Our medical team would know but even I wouldn’t,’ he said.
‘What we do know is that even with the vaccination it is not going to stop people catching it. So in terms of our concerns, on a broader welfare thing, it is helping everybody to get through this pandemic and I don’t see another way other than a vaccination programme.’
A survey of Covid’s impact on the Premier League found that 130 of 527 first-team players have tested positive for the virus.
Football Supporters’ Association chair Malcolm Clarke said: ‘We all have a role to play in keeping stadiums safe. That applies to everyone. There shouldn’t be different rules for fans and players.’