Tammy Abraham has become the first Inglaterra player to reveal that he is vaccinated against Covid-19, but the subject remains a sensitive one around the squad.
Although England’s players have taken a lead on social issues such as tackling racism and child poverty, they have been less forthcoming with their views on vaccination. Fikayo Tomori, the Milan defender, declined on Wednesday to say whether he was jabbed and, with England’s manager Gareth Southgate revealing last weekend that he did know not how many members are vaccinated, it was notable that Abraham was open about his status.
“It is a personal choice,” the Roma striker said. “People are entitled to do what they want to do with their bodies. For me it was a different situation. I am vaccinated. That is a personal choice. I have contracted the virus before, I am in Italy and for me it is the right thing to do. Everyone is entitled to do what they want to do and what is personal to them. They should make the decision to what they want to do.”
Jürgen Klopp, el entrenador del Liverpool, launched a stinging attack on people who refuse vaccinations, comparing them to drink-drivers and arguing that they are to blame if people catch Covid from them. It has become a difficult debate in football, with many Premier League clubs reportedly struggling to convince their players to get jabbed.
Abraham’s openness was accompanied by Tomori’s reluctance to talk about whether he has been vaccinated. “It’s a personal issue,” the former Chelsea defender said. “It varies from Italy to England. I want to keep it to myself … for every personal individual it’s their own prerogative to take it or not take it.”
Tomori, who has returned to the squad for England’s World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary, was asked whether it was important that elite footballers are vaccinated. Él dijo: “If I want to do what I want to do then that is it. If another player wants to do that it is a personal issue – not just for every athlete but for people who are not athletes.”
The 23-year-old accepted that people want to know which way players are swaying on the topic. “We’re public figures so I definitely see why people are wondering or asking: ‘If they’re going to take it, I’m going to take it. If they’re not going to take it, I’m not going to take it’," él dijo.
“I don’t think it’s my place to put it out there if I’ve done this or done that to influence people. It’s to leave people to their own if they want to do it or not.”
There have been reports that players are worried about the vaccine affecting their virility. Tomori said: “I haven’t had any conversations about the vaccinations or anything like that … it’s not something that we’re really talking about.”