A quarter of EFL players are unvaccinated as clubs reportedly consider potential repercussions
The Omicron variant of Covid-19 is spreading rapidly across the UK and could cause another potential shut down of football fixtures.
With 18 fixtures across the Championship, League 1 and League 2 being postponed the EFL also confirmed that 31% of players had not received a first dose of the vaccine.
The governing body are now considering enforcing tighter protocols to prevent a complete shut down of the leagues.
German giants Bayern Munich recently cut the wages of members of their first team who were forced to isolate and full-back Joshua Kimmich has since decided to receive the vaccine.
Although the Premier League has not released any figures, certain reports are suggesting that the spread of the virus which is causing match postponements could be a direct result of unvaccinated players.
The EFL has not yet put any sanctions in place specifically regarding unvaccinated players, nor is it confirmed that they will, but new guidelines on the minimum number of available players required to fulfil a fixture has been passed.
Clubs will be obliged to fulfil a fixture if they have 14 players, including a goalkeeper, available for selection from their registered squad list.
The data collected by the EFL in November shows that 75% of its players were either fully vaccinated, had had a single dose or did intent to get a vaccine with double vaccinated players contributing to 59% of that statistic.
However, the concern comes from the 25% who have said they do not intend to get a vaccine as that would then leave them more susceptible to contracting the virus.
After that, anyone deemed to be a close contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 must isolate for 10 days under current UK Government guidance - clearly a major problem for football clubs where players are regularly training together.
25 fixtures which were scheduled to take place this weekend across the Premier League and EFL have already been postponed.
The full list of Premier League and EFL fixtures which were due to take place this weekend but have been postponed are:
- Manchester United v Brighton
- Southampton v Brentford
- Leicester City v Tottenham Hotspur
- Watford v Crystal Palace
- West Ham v Norwich
- Everton v Leicester
- Cardiff City v Derby County
- Coventry City v Stoke City
- Millwall v Preston
- QPR v Swansea City
- Reading v Luton Town
- AFC Wimbledon v Portsmouth
- Bolton Wanderers v Wycombe Wanderers
- Burton v MK Dons
- Gillingham v Crewe Alexandra
- Lincoln City v Doncaster Rovers
- Sheffield Wednesday v Accrington Stanley
- Carlisle United v Bradford City
- Colchester United v Hartlepool United
- Crawley Town v Oldham Athletic
- Forest Green Rovers v Mansfield Town
- Northampton Town v Barrow
- Port Vale v Exeter City
- Scunthorpe v Bristol Rovers
- Swindon Town v Walsall
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