Klopp says 99 per cent of Liverpool players are vaccinated against Covid-19

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Jurgen Klopp has revealed that “99 per cent” of Liverpool’s players are vaccinated against Covid-19 and explained why he himself is in favour of the jab.

In an impassioned speech ahead of the Reds’ Premier League clash with Manchester City, Klopp discussed the current issues surrounding vaccination in football, but insisted he had not needed to convince any of his players to take it.

It emerged this week that only seven Premier League clubs have squads where more than 50% of players are double-jabbed, with reports suggesting the league could now offer ‘rewards’ to clubs who lead the way in terms of ‘Covid-compliance’.

What did Klopp say?

Asked whether he was in favour of vaccinations, and whether he played any role in convincing players to take them, given there was now a sporting reason as well as a general health one, Klopp issued a lengthy reply.

He said: “I think I can say we have 99% vaccinated. I didn’t have to convince the players, it was more a natural decision from the team. I can’t remember talking to players or explaining why he should. I’m not a doctor.

“What I would give, like I do in a lot of other situations, I would give my advice. That was not necessary.

“But in general, it sounds like we are not allowed to give people advice. Where did I get the knowledge from that I think it makes sense to get the vaccination? I called doctors that I had known for years. I called them and asked them: ‘What do you think?’ That’s how I work; if I want to know about something I don’t know about, ask a specialist. 

“That’s why I took the vaccination, because I’m in an age group where it could be tricky, and I was really happy I could get it.

“Maybe I’m a little bit naive, but I don’t understand why we are not allowed to give advice. So if I say: ‘I’m vaccinated’, people say: ‘How can you tell me I should be vaccinated?’ I can explain it for myself.

“It’s a little bit like drink-driving. We were all probably in a situation where we had a beer or two, and thought we still could drive. But the law says we are not allowed to drive, so we don’t.

“The law is not there to protect me, it’s to protect all the other people because I’m drunk or p*ssed and want to drive a car. And we accept that as a law. 

“We all know that alcohol is bad for our body, but we still drink it. The vaccination, we assume it’s not good for our body even though most of the specialists tell us it is a solution for this situation at the moment. 

“I don’t take the vaccination to protect me, I take it to protect all the people around me. And I don’t understand why that is a limitation of freedom. Because if it is, then not being allowed to drink and drive is a limitation of freedom as well. But we accept that.

“We are not allowed to ask people if they are vaccinated, but I am allowed to ask a taxi driver: ‘Are you drunk?’ And if he says: ‘I don’t have to tell you’ I say: ‘OK, I won’t ride with you’. And if I show up in the office drunk, they can send me home or sack me.

“I don’t understand it. I got the vaccination, yes, because I was concerned about myself, but even more so about everybody around me. 

“If I get it and suffer from it myself, then it’s my fault,. But if I get it and spread it around to somebody else, then it’s my fault and not their fault.”

What about the row surrounding international players?

On Friday, Klopp had tackled another issue which has emerged around Covid-19, that of players returning to clubs after playing international matches in red-list countries.

It is understood that an exemption will be granted by the UK government to those players, which would allow them to train and play as normal upon their return, rather than spending 10 days at a quarantine hotel.

However, players will not be permitted to return to their homes for 10 days, instead staying in a hotel of their choosing. In terms of Liverpool, the players affected would be Brazilian duo Fabinho and Alisson Becker, Greek left-back Kostas Tsimikas and Senegal star Sadio Mane.

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“It’s just not right,” Klopp said. “I look at the situation with all seriousness, what do we do? We just move the responsibility to the players; can you do that, do you want that? If you don’t, then don’t go to your national team. It’s not right.

“I don’t expect the Government to be 100% concerned about the Premier League situation, about the need of specific players, but the Premier League has to fight for our players. That’s not the situation now.”

Further reading 

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