Only 7 of the 20 Premier League teams have been able to vaccinate all of their players. The recent report that Chelsea's N 'Golo Kanté tested positive for COVID-19 has set off alarms.
In the Premier League, clubs have been unable to convince many of their players to get vaccinated, creating fear. Photo: Pexels
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
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Leer en español: ¿A qué se debe la baja tasa de vacunación en la Premier League?
Although the Public Health data in England shows the efficacy of vaccines, since they have prevented the death of 123,100 people, in the Premier League, clubs have not been able to convince many of their players to get vaccinated, which generates fear.
Also read: Opinion: European Soccer may Need a Draft
According to data from the Daily Mail, only 30 to 35 percent of top-tier soccer players in England have been vaccinated. This implies a risk of contagion and outbreak for the competition. Clubs, in turn, fear that non-inoculated soccer players are more susceptible to infections or other symptoms during the winter.
While more modest clubs such as Wolverhampton, Brentford (promoted this year) and Leeds have a large percentage of vaccinated, which is between 89 and 100%, there are others, of greater importance than present very low percentages such as Newcastle, which still has not vaccinated its players against COVID-19.
The situation, however, is not new in the sports field. For example, in the NBA there are more than 60 players who oppose being vaccinated.
Conspiracy and social media?
The latest positive in English soccer was French midfielder N 'Golo Kanté, Chelsea star, and possible Ballon d'Or nominee, whose case has put the Premier League on alert.
The English competition is not immune to the anti-vaccine conspiracy theories that circulate on social networks and that have originated from the dressing rooms of the different teams. These impediments are still on the scale of rumors.
"We have veterans, intelligent men, who are saying all kinds of nonsense and are not going to move from there. One of them told me that they do not need the vaccine because it could increase their immunity by taking vitamins," said the doctor of a club of the Premier League to the Daily Mail on the condition that his name not be disclosed.
These theories described are directed to topics such as Bill Gates chips for 5G, infertility, or vitamins.
"Some of the things that they are reading, and believing, on the Internet are incredible. The players say that the vaccine will make them infertile, that it is part of a plot that involves Bill Gates, that the pandemic is just propaganda," reaffirmed the doctor .
Freedom of choice?
The position of the players, who are the main protagonists, is key in this matter because there is no law that requires them to apply the vaccine and this is reflected in the fact that only a third of all the players who play in the Premier have been vaccinated With the full guideline, that only 7 of the 20 teams have fully vaccinated more than 50% of their squads and that there are up to three clubs that have not even vaccinated 10% of the team.
The British government guaranteed the Premier League that unvaccinated players will not be expelled from the stadiums and that they will be able to continue playing regularly as long as the "COVID passport" is not mandatory in mass events, as it has stated. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel said the following for Marca. "They are adults, they should have the freedom to choose to be vaccinated or not. The easy thing for me would be to say that they should be vaccinated and receive the applause of the people, but do I have the right to say that? I think not."
The attitude is reflected in the fact that several players refused to participate in an advertising campaign that encouraged soccer players to get vaccinated.
Looking for alternatives that speed up and complete vaccination, the Premier League will reward those teams that vaccinate all of their squads. How? with prizes of travel protocols for teams that play European competitions and with favoring the public in events such as FA CUP and League Cup finals, and the exemption of quarantine for those soccer players who arrive from "red alert" countries after playing with your selections.
The truth is that this is a very contradictory situation since in England more than 82% of the population over 16 years of age have already completed the vaccination program, but the soccer league, its main sporting event, has not yet reached half. of immunized cases.
In the debate, Gary Neville, former Manchester United player and co-owner of Salford City, a club that plays in League Two, the third division participated.
"The vaccination rate is low not only in the Premier League but in the entire pyramid of professional soccer, we must accept it and try to understand what the reasons are. It is time for the soccer players Association to explain why players are not vaccinated at despite the concerns expressed in this regard, "he added in statements compiled by Ansa Brasil.
Fans under another magnifying glass
The case of fans is different since those who have not been vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 will not be able to access the Premier League matches as public from this month of October. Although the intention of the Government would be for the clubs to voluntarily adopt the requirement of a vaccination certificate, they also do not rule out forcing the Premier to adopt it.