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Manchester United have angered their Premier League rivals over their struggles to get their players vaccinated, according to reports. The Red Devils have endured a problematic start to the campaign on the pitch. And, off it, it seems as though they’re encountering further issues.
Vaccines for COVID-19 became available towards the end of last year.
But, despite that fact, The Times say United are having difficulties when it comes to their players getting the jab.
It last week emerged that only seven of the 20 top-flight clubs had managed to get more than 50 per cent of their players to take up the vaccine.
Yet while United have insisted their numbers are higher than 20 per cent, the publication states they’re part of a ‘significant’ group still some way off the full amount.
Now, their Premier League rivals aren’t happy.
It’s claimed the rest of the league is frustrated with United’s lack of progress, especially given their status as one of the biggest and most influential clubs in the country.
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At the moment, Liverpool and Leeds have outdone the Red Devils with the majority of their players taking the jab.
It was only back in August that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer addressed the vaccine handout, admitting some players weren’t sure about it.
“We’ve informed them and some of them are already fully vaccinated, some are not sure,” Solskjaer said.
“But we’re going to have a bigger session with them now because I think it’s important that everyone knows what it’s about.”
And he also added: “Footballers have been privileged because when the world has been closed we’ve been able to play football, now the rest of it has opened but we have to be really careful because if they spend too long in a place then they might catch something so we’ve got to be really careful.
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“But it’s a sacrifice we’ve got to make to play football.
“As I said we are privileged but it’s a difficult situation because their life is not normal.
“I think it’s been easier for us because we’ve been able to come into work, train together, play games and yeah we’ve had to live in a bubble but other people have had to stay inside and not be able to go outside and see anyone.
“We’ve been privileged but at the moment our day is different to anyone else’s because signing autographs for the kids, taking pictures, yeah we want to do it but we can’t. That’s hard for us.”
And Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp recently weighed in, calling on players to show consideration by getting it done.
“We’ve all probably been in the situation where we had a beer or two and thought we still could drive but the law says we’re not allowed to, so we don’t,” he said.
“This law is not for protecting me, it’s for protecting all the other people. The vaccination is the same.
“I don’t understand why that is a limitation of freedom because, if it is, then not being allowed to drink and drive is.
“I got the vaccination because I was concerned about myself but even more so for everyone else around me.
“If I get it and suffer – my fault. If I get it and spread it around to everyone else – my fault and not their fault.
“Where did I get the knowledge from that I think it makes sense to get the vaccination? I called doctors who I’ve known for years. Most specialists tell us the vaccination is the solution for the situation in this moment.
“I think we (at Liverpool) can say we have 99 per cent vaccinated.
“I didn’t have to convince the players, it was more a natural decision from the team. I can’t remember really talking to a player and convincing him why he should because I’m not a doctor.
“What I would give, like in a lot of other situations, would be my advice – but it was not necessary.”
FIFA have also encouraged players to get the jab.
Yet they’re currently in talks with Qatari authorities about scrapping the mandatory vaccine requirements for the World Cup next year.
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