FIFA president says players should not be in vaccine priority groups

FIFA president Gianni Infantino says footballers should not be among the priority groups to receive the Covid-19 vaccine as some countries have begun or plan to inoculate themselves ahead of Olympic Games

  • Some countries already have begun or plan to vaccinate Olympic athletes  
  • FIFA president Gianni Infantino believes footballers shouldn’t jump the queue 
  • He is confident next year’s World Cup will be played in front of full stadiums  

Footballers should not be considered among the priority groups for receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Monday.

Some countries have begun vaccinating athletes or plan to inoculate them ahead of the Olympic Games, due to be held in Tokyo from July 23, drawing criticism.

But Infantino, who was launching a joint campaign with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to promote fair access to vaccines, said he was not a supporter of footballers jumping the queue. ‘The priority for the vaccines is, of course, the people at risk and for health workers. 

Criticism surrounds certain countries who have already inoculated athletes ahead of the Olympics 

Gianni Infantino believes footballers shouldn’t jump the queue and be among priority groups

‘This is very clear in our mind. I don’t consider, we don’t consider, football players as a priority group in this respect,’ he told a news conference.

He then added: ‘Of course for safety reasons, in the context of the months to come, in the context of international competitions and travel, vaccination might be recommended at some point and the Olympic Games are, of course, only in the summer.

‘But all this will happen, of course, respecting the established order of distribution.

‘There are people who are at risk and these people should have priority of course and it is not football players or officials.’

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