Southgate says footballers should be offered vaccine soon

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London

England manager Gareth Southgate says footballers should be offered coronavirus vaccines soon as they are being asked to take risks by playing regularly during the pandemic.

The UK, hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis, this week passed the mark of 25 million jabs delivered as part of a rapid rollout.

Footballers do not fall into the categories vaccinated so far, based on factors such as age and existing medical conditions, but have been travelling for club and international matches since the sport resumed last year.

Southgate feels a strain could be taken off the state-run National Health Service (NHS) if football were able to step in and begin its own vaccination programme.

The England boss, speaking after announcing his squad for World Cup qualifiers, admitted a looming vaccine supply shortfall could prove a stumbling block.

“My view would have been we were close to getting to the point where it would have been acceptable for professional sportsmen to be on that list,” he said.—APP

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