Germany coach Hansi Flick is far from happy, possibly having to make a delicate decision for the upcoming year.
Covid-19 infection numbers are growing in international sports, and the German coach might have to consider only appointing fully vaccinated players.
Around the 2022 World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein (9-0) in Wolfsburg on Thursday night, the pandemic’s effects caught up on Joachim Low’s successor.
“I have to think about how we deal with this topic,” the former Bayern coach said after five of his players had to leave the team headquarters for quarantine after a positive test of fully vaccinated Bayern defender Niklas Sule.
Serge Gnabry, Karim Adeyemi, Jamal Musiala, and Joshua Kimmich were sent home as first-degree contacts of Sule indicates and the quartet until now refused to be vaccinated.
According to German health rules, non-vaccinated persons have to attend quarantine for at least seven days despite a negative test.
While the German association referred to data privacy, not clarifying the players’ vaccination status, increasing problems in football came to light.
“I hope we don’t face this problem again, having to send five players home due to Covid-19,” Flick said.
The German coach mentioned vaccination isn’t mandatory in Germany. “But we all are role models for many people. For me taking the jab is the only way to control the pandemic.”
A coach prefers all players to be vaccinated, he added.
Flick might have thought about similar incidents possibly creating turbulences in the weeks ahead of Qatar 2022.
While only vaccinated or recovered fans were allowed in the Wolfsburg arena, like in several German stadiums, employees in Germany can rely on the three-G model according to worker rights. They either need to take the jab, provide a recovery document, or a negative test.
Like any other professional sport, football enjoys a prominent position, Flick said, setting a new starting record as a German coach. He mentioned football’s responsibility after his sixth consecutive victory.
Not only does the association need to make a decision but clubs such as Bayern Munich.
The Bavarians so far only announced they favor vaccinations of their players but refused to demand it as compulsory.
While German athletes competing at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are fully vaccinated, German club football suffers from several protagonists refusing it.
Several clubs have to deal with players, not available for competition in the Bundesliga due to quarantine orders after being tested positive.
Bayern will intensify talks with players about the topic. Media talk of club concerns of possibly having to run games in the Champions League without the best squad.
Flick is annoyed by the turbulences after he was forced to change his squad and skip training sessions and team meetings.
“We had other plans as we currently meet for the last games in 2021,” Flick stated while his predecessor and 2014 World Champion coach Low enjoyed the warm applause of 26000 fans for his official farewell.
The coach can’t be happy about the latest development and Oliver Bierhoff’s nebulous statement. The national team manager said: “We might have to live with the players’ decision.” As it seems, not only Flick has a problem with that attitude.