The English Premier League has notified clubs that it is looking into methods to “reward” those who are the most “COVID compliant,” with squads that have a higher vaccine uptake.
There have recently been fears that not enough EPL footballers have received the virus vaccine.
Although young professional sportsmen are normally at low risk of major consequences, Dean Henderson and Karl Darlow’s experiences show that this is not always the case.
Henderson, the Manchester United goalkeeper, was out for many weeks during the summer and early in the season due to extreme exhaustion.
Darlow, on the other hand, spent three days in the hospital and dropped five kilograms after experiencing “nearly every single symptom.”
He had also been exhausted for weeks.
In a BBC interview earlier this month, the Newcastle goalkeeper urged fellow footballers to “go and get the jab.”
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel argued that clubs cannot force players to be vaccinated since it is a “free choice” when discussing N’Golo Kante’s positive test this week.
Reportedly, EPL clubs have now received a briefing letter indicating that players getting vaccinated may soon be incentivised to boost the league’s embarrassingly low vaccination uptake.
The note issued to clubs read: “According to the data we have, only seven clubs’ squads are more than 50 per cent fully vaccinated, so we have a way to go. We are considering if and how best we can ‘reward’ those squads/players who are most Covid-compliant and who have opted to be vaccinated.
“It is increasingly clear that full vaccination will be the key criteria for government and health authorities, in terms of international travel and potential Covid certification at large scale events.”
Two Premier League clubs are alleged to have only six players who have been vaccinated, despite Leeds, Wolves, and Brentford reporting 100 person vaccination rates.
The message also stated that the Premier League’s current training and matchday regulations will be in effect until at least December 31.
Vaccination levels will then serve as a guidance as to whether the guidelines should be relaxed or adapted at that point.