Premier League vaccines: Players ‘may have legitimate concerns’, says PFA boss Maheta Molango

Players’ concerns over their welfare should be heard – PFA chief

Maheta Molango, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) chief executive, has cautioned against an “over-simplistic” reaction to players who have opted not to be vaccinated.

The Premier League says 84% of players are on their “vaccination journey”.

Molango says the PFA is trying to help players make the “right” decisions “based on science”.

“As a union, there is no doubt we understand and support the vaccination rollout,” Molango told BBC Sport.

“But what we have learned is that it is not as simple as saying it is only about the vaccination. That is only one piece of the puzzle.”

Acknowledging that players might have “legitimate concerns” about vaccines, he added: “We have to be careful with over-simplistic assessments of situations.”

The Premier League’s vaccination figures are in line with comparable age groups across society in the UK.

However, there has been an argument that unvaccinated players – unable to play because they are in a 10-day isolation period that would not apply if they had been jabbed – should not be counted as a Covid absentee when it comes to ruling on postponements.

It has also been reportedexternal-link that unvaccinated players might be forced to travel and even train separately from their team-mates.

Last week, the Football League said 25% of its players were not intending to be vaccinated.

“Always keep in mind players are human beings,” Molango added. “They are the same people that a few months ago, when I was at home and most people were at home, were told go out and play with no vaccines, that there were ‘no worries, you are going to be fine’. That is the reality.

“We are trying to help the players make the right choice based on science. They need to listen to the experts but at the same time, we have to acknowledge that certain people may have legitimate concerns.”

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