In a move that will send shockwaves through the football world, Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp has announced that his club will not sign players who are not vaccinated against COVID-19.
This comes after Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard and his Crystal Palace counterpart Patrick Vieira both said that vaccine status would be considered when signing new players.
When asked at a news conference if a player’s vaccination status would influence the club’s decision to sign him, Klopp replied:
“Yes, it will be influential. Definitely.
I was asked about this in previous press conferences and I did not really think about it because I don’t know when we will sign a player. But since then, I did think about it. In a situation like this, if a player is not vaccinated at all he is a constant threat for all of us. He does not want to be a threat, of course. It is not that he thinks, ‘I don’t care about the others’. But he is and we have to find different scenarios.
He would have to change in a different dressing room, eat in a different dining room and sit on a different bus and drive in a different car. From an organization’s point of view, that is a real mess.
If you really want to follow the protocols, it is really difficult to do it. If one [player] gets COVID, and others are around him, they are in isolation. So of course it will be influential. We are not going to create a building for unvaccinated players. Hopefully, it will not be necessary.”
The English Football League (EFL) recently revealed that 25% of its players do not intend to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Only 59% of players have received two doses, with a further 16% having had a single dose and prepared to have another one.
The announcement by Klopp is sure to cause panic among some football players.
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