Udinese confirm ‘three anti-vax players in squad’

Udinese director Pierpaolo Marino confirms they have ‘three anti-vax players in a squad of 35’ who need to get tested for COVID every day.

The issue of players and members of staff refusing the vaccine is becoming a real concern, after Spezia had an outbreak of 15 cases, which the club medic openly blamed on two players who wouldn’t get vaccinated.

“In the current group at the disposal of coach Luca Gotti, there are three anti-vax players in a total squad of circa 35 athletes,” Marino told news agency ANSA.

“We give them swabs every day, while the others get one two or three times a week. Our players received the first dose of the vaccine in May, when the club also set up the Dacia Arena as a vaccination hub to encourage the local population to get the jab.

“Many of the vaccinated players also participated in public initiatives to remind people of how important it is for people to get vaccinated.”

The vast majority of Serie A players and staff are now vaccinated, either with both jabs or currently just the first dose.

The AIC (Italian Players Association) sent an open letter to all its members urging them to get the vaccine, as it would help protect themselves, their teammates and their families.

While it was reported the Premier League will make vaccination mandatory for their players by October 1, Italian authorities insist they can only try to persuade people to join in with the public health initiative.