No fewer than 99.2% of players contracted to the IRFU have been vaccinated, after the revelation that at least ten of Ireland’s international football squad had not been double vaccinated – and Callum Robinson‘s confession that he was among that number.
West Brom striker Robinson has opted not to be vaccinated despite having twice tested positive for Covid-19, adding “that’s my choice at this moment in time“, when he was questioned on the subject on Tuesday.
The Football Association of Ireland said it had to “accept the right of all individuals to make a personal choice on Covid-19 vaccination“.
“All players and staff are tested for Covid-19 before reporting for international duty with Republic of Ireland teams and are tested repeatedly in camp in line with FAI and Uefa protocols,” said an FAI statement.
“We have encouraged all our players at all levels of the game to be vaccinated but we respect and must accept the right of all individuals to make a personal choice on Covid-19 vaccination.
Speaking this afternoon, Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers “It would be good to see leadership from players here and elsewhere around the vaccination rollout, we’ve seen a huge uptake of the vaccine here amongst young people with massive uptake as we know over recent weeks and months.
“It would be good to see all our sporting role models demonstrate positivity towards the vaccination rollout and I think young people here have spoken in large numbers and they’ve gotten the vaccine and that’s given us a huge amount of positivity around how we can ease restrictions and how it impacts on return of spectators and on other matters as well.
“I think it’s unlikely we’ll see a manager make a decision like that but I think it would be preferable that we’d see people coming out speaking positively about the vaccination rollout and encouraging young people to get that protection for themselves, their families and their communities.”