Sajid Javid: health secretary criticises ‘disappointing’ England football players for ‘refusing vaccine’

Five England players, three of whom played in Euros 22, are currently unvaccinated.

<p>Sajid Javid says it is ‘disappointing’ that at least five England players are yet to be vaccinated.</p>

Sajid Javid says it is ‘disappointing’ that at least five England players are yet to be vaccinated.

Health secretary Sajid Javid has criticised England football players who are refusing to get the Covid-19 vaccine.

He is calling on the players - whom he has not named - to accept their responsibility as ‘role models’.

Sign up to our World of Sport newsletter

Speaking to Times Radio on Sunday, Mr Javid said “They’ve made a conscious choice. It is disappointing, of course it is.

“They are role models in society.

“People, especially young people, I think will look up to them and they should recognise that and the difference that can make in terms of encouraging others.”

Unvaccinated players risk being left out of the World Cup 2022

Sports minister Nigel Huddleston has also strongly encouraged those who are currently unvaccinated to go and get the jab.

Huddleston has speculated that footballers may have subjected themselves to “misinformation online.” He has acknowledged that some are unable to take the jab for medical reasons but hopes those who are simply “unwilling to get vaccinated” will change their minds.

The Sun reported on Sunday that at least five of the England men’s squad are unvaccinated. Three of these players represented England in this summer’s Euros.

England in Euro qualifiers. Players are likely to have to be vaccinated in order to take part in Qatar World Cup.

These players risk being left out of next year’s World Cup in Qatar if they remain unvaccinated as the tournament’s organisers are expected to ban anyone who hasn’t had at least two doses.

Along with the news that at least five England players are currently unvaccinated, a separate report also revealed that a vast majority of Premier League players are yet to get their vaccine.

At 13 of the 20 Premier League Clubs, less than half of the players have been fully vaccinated, with the overall average of fully inoculated players to be around one-third.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has not been shy to express his opinion and compares the unvaccinated to drink-drivers.

Speaking at a Liverpool Press Conference on Sunday 3 October, the German Manager said : “We were all probably in a situation where we had a beer or two and thought I can drive.

“But this law is not there for protecting me, it is there for protecting all the other people because I am pissed and want to drive a car.”

He added “Most specialists tell us the vaccination is the solution for the situation at this moment.

“I don’t take the vaccination only to protect me, I take the vaccination to protect all the people around me.”

Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool Manager, voices his support for vaccination and compares anti-vaxxers to drink-drivers.

Gareth Southgate, the England Manager, has said that the team’s doctors are not disclosing which players are vaccinated but he has speculated that the players’ ‘medical confidentiality’ may have to be broken when it comes to looking at eligibility for tournaments.

‘Responsibility to the broader public’

Speaking to the Sun, Southgate spoke in favour of the vaccination. He said: “I think we have to make the right representations because we have a responsibility to the broader public to help people get through the virus,” but added that it’s “far from a straightforward cycle”.

He added: “Whenever the players are with us, we’re always going to be in a bubble and on a sporting exemption, so I guess the bigger issue is going to be players going back to clubs or clubs travelling in certain countries.”

It is likely that being fully vaccinated will be a requirement for players taking part in the 2022 Qatar World Cup, which takes place from 21 November 2022 until 18 December 2022.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.