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28th Sep 2021

Thomas Tuchel says it’s not his place to tell players to get vaccinated

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has said it is 'not his place' to tell his players to get a Covid vaccine after Ngolo Kante tested positive for the virus

Reuben Pinder

You should though, obviously

Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has said it is not his place to tell his players whether they should be vaccinated against Covid-19 or not, after Ngolo Kanté became the latest footballer to be ruled out after testing positive for the virus.

Kanté will miss Chelsea’s Champions League clash with Juventus on Tuesday night, alongside Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic and Reece James, all of whom are sidelined with injury.

There is growing concern in the world of football about the alarmingly low number of professional footballers who have received a Covid-19 vaccine, but Tuchel does not feel in a position to encourage the players either way.

Asked whether he would tell his players to get the jab, he said: “It would be easy to say yes now and get applause from a lot of people. But at the same time do I have the right to say that? I’m not so sure.”

The Chelsea boss revealed that he is vaccinated against the virus, but did not reveal the vaccination status of any of his players, because he doesn’t actually know how many of them are jabbed.

“I can make the decision for myself and everyone else has to reflect and take the risk or not,” he said.

“It’s a serious question. Vaccination seems to be a proper protection. I am vaccinated. I took the decision for myself. But I don’t really see myself in a position to speak out on proper recommendations. That would go too far. I’m a football coach, not a 100 per cent expert on this. I would leave it to them.

“Everyone is an adult, living in a free country and society, and people can take their own choices. We take our actions and are responsible for it. We don’t want to lose players, but we are not angry with N’Golo. I am concerned about him like I am with my injured players.”

Juventus will also be without two key players in Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala for the group stage clash with Chelsea. Both sides go into the tie having won their first group game.