At least five England stars could be forced to miss the Three Lions’ World Cup 2022 campaign in Qatar, after they have refused to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.
In order to reduce the chance of any Covid-19 outbreaks affecting the international tournament, officials are planning to enforce a rule banning any unvaccinated players from competing for their country.
And that could spell serious trouble for England manager Gareth Southgate, who could lose at least five players that are all refusing to receive the coronavirus vaccination, according to The Sun.
It has been revealed that at least three senior players who were involved in the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 campaign are not vaccinated, and although rules did not prevent them from partaking in the summer, that could change in 2022.
Southgate has spoken out in support of the vaccine in the past, describing it as the ‘best route of this problem.’
“There’s no doubt the vaccination programme is our best route out of this problem.”
Meanwhile, club doctors have been left baffled by some players’ refusal to take the vaccine, and they are frustrated that stars are influencing the younger members of the squad into not getting the jab.
“We’ve got senior players, intelligent men, coming out with all sorts of nonsense. One told me he didn’t need the vaccine because he could boost his immunity by taking vitamins,” said one club doctor.
“Some of the stuff they’re reading – and believing – on the internet is incredible. Players are saying it will make them infertile, that it’s part of a plot involving Bill Gates, that the pandemic is just propaganda.
“The real problem is they’re also polluting the minds of younger players.”
Sports minister Nigel Huddleston has also addressed the issue, believing that ‘misinformation online’ is to blame for their reluctance.
“It’s disappointing to hear there may be some footballers unwilling to get vaccinated, perhaps due to misinformation online,” he said.
And an FA spokesman stated that: “This is a private matter for individuals and their respective clubs as employers. Our preparations for the forthcoming internationals continue as normal.”