The boss of Ireland’s international football team has offered conflicting views on vaccines to one of his stars who caught Covid twice – and has claimed that it is “better to be double-vaccinated” amid “myths” including virility.
National team manager Stephen Kenny has warned that it would be “extremely radical” to follow the lead of other sports, including the NBA, by making players become vaccinated in order to play.
The 49-year-old Dubliner added that there were “issues around virility” that people who are reluctant to take vaccines may be concerned about – while one of his players, Callum Robinson, revealed that he has opted not to be jabbed despite catching Covid twice.
“I haven’t been vaccinated, no,” said the 26-year-old, who missed games for his country in November and August as a result of being infected. “That’s my choice at this moment in time.
“It’s obviously annoying that I’ve caught it twice but I haven’t been vaccinated.
“Further down the line I could change my mind and want to do it. I just haven’t done it.
“I think it’s your personal choice and my choice at this moment in time [is] I haven’t been vaccinated. I wouldn’t force people to do it – it’s your choice and your body.”
Robinson made his comments after Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp expressed dismay at reports that just under 50% of professionals who have not yet been jabbed in the Premier League, comparing them to drink drivers.
Kenny would likely support such a pro-vaccine stance, although his views aren’t quite as strong.
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“Well, I think it would be quite a radical viewpoint to just say: ‘Right, whoever is not vaccinated is not being selected in the future’,” Kenny said as per player call-ups and conflicting jab stances or reluctance, while admitting that not everyone in his squad has received both doses of the vaccine.
“I’m not aware of anybody who has done this in any sport at the moment, so for me to just come and decide that would be extremely radical.
“I was very happy to be [vaccinated] myself and encouraged staff and players. Of course it seems like the most sensible thing to do, and the safest with regard to our environment.
“There are a lot of myths and a lot of issues around virility that people are concerned about and other issues, you know, and I do think it is complex.
“I am not a medical expert, but I do trust the experts and I do think it is better to be double-vaccinated,” he finished.
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