England manager Gareth Southgate appeared in an NHS video encouraging the use of vaccines, something for which he was extensively abused online for
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England could miss a string of their stars at next year’s World Cup, with reports that at least five players are refusing to be vaccinated.
The Three Lions have all but sealed their place in the showpiece set to take place next winter in Qatar.
Wins against Hungary and Andorra in the next round of qualifiers will effectively ensure safe passage, but their hopes of winning the trophy could be a major glitch.
Claims in The sun say a number of players who could be involved in the tournament have yet to have a Covid-19 vaccine – and some reportedly have no intention of doing so.
According to the report, the players have cited a number of reasons for their alleged reluctance to take the vaccine.
The World Cup organizers plan to ban all unvaccinated players next year, putting Gareth Southgate in a difficult position.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van Tam is said to have been called in to discuss the benefits of the jab in hopes of dispelling the myth circulating around WhatsApp groups across the country.
Southgate has already made clear his feelings about the situation, previously saying: “The vaccination program is undoubtedly our best way out of this problem.”
The England boss then admitted that after appearing in a video promoting the use of vaccines, he was subjected to extensive online abuse.
In August he said: “I think the… [ Premier League ] Captains had a call with Jonathan Van-Tam, from what I read.
“So I think information has been given from a sort of medical head perspective and I understand that while I haven’t talked to people at every club, the acceptance has been very varied at different clubs.
“I’m not really going to get involved in this because I was asked to make a video in support of the vaccination program, which I thought was responsible, and of all the things I got abused over the summer, of which there have been several, that’s probably the one I got the most abuse from.
Action images via Reuters)
“So I’m probably going to stay out of that discussion for now.”
Sports Secretary Nigel Huddleston said: “It is disappointing to hear that there may be footballers who do not want to be vaccinated, perhaps because of misinformation online.”
mirror football have contacted the FA for comment.
England’s players will fly to Andorra next week where they will form a Covid bubble ahead of the next qualifiers.