FAI say they have encouraged a...


FAI say they have encouraged all players to receive COVID vaccine

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The FAI has revealed they've encouraged all players, at all levels, to get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Republic of Ireland striker Callum Robinson revealed on Tuesday that he has so far refused the jab, despite contracting the virus twice.

The 26-year old told a press conference that he had suffered more second time around, adding that it took him longer to return to full fitness. Robinson missed Ireland's World Cup qualifier defeat away to Portugal, and was confined to substitute appearances at home to Azerbaijan and Serbia due to fitness concerns.

"I haven't been vaccinated yet, no, so that's my choice at this moment in time," he told reporters.

In response, Ireland manager Stephen Kenny said that Robinson was not alone in the Ireland squad in his vaccine scepticism. Kenny claimed that the number of unvaccinated players in this week's 26-man squad was in the single figures.

Minister for Sport Jack Chambers has called on sports stars to act as role models with the vaccine rollout, telling Newstalk, "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."

The FAI addressed the issue on Wednesday, highlighting their frequent testing of players in and around Ireland camps.

However, they warned, "We respect and must accept the right of all individuals to make a personal choice on COVID-19 vaccination."

FAI statement: 

The Football Association of Ireland can confirm that 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.

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.

The Association will continue to exercise the highest standards for the safety of all our stakeholders. Our COVID-19 testing protocols for all players and staff on international duty strictly follow UEFA protocols and are compliant with all Irish Government guidelines.

The FAI reconfirms our support for all Government, UEFA and FIFA protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. We thank all our stakeholders for their ongoing exemplary compliance with Government guidelines over the last 19 months.

“It’s concerning, it would be good to see leadership from players around the vaccination rollout…”

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Callum Robinson Coronavirus Covid-19 FAI Stephen Kenny Vaccination Vaccine

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