England boss Gareth Southgate revealed that a number of footballers were being swayed by conspiracy theories about the vaccination on social media. Southgate suffered abuse online after he made a video after Euro 2020 urging people to get vaccinated. The increase in players that have been vaccinated has been sporadic and he is not sure how many players in his squad have received both jabs.

“I think within the age group and age range (of his players) – I don’t have all the data and statistics – I would sense that younger people are at a different scale in terms of uptake to older people,” England manager Gareth Southgate said. “They seem to be more susceptible to social media posts or living their lives on social media, where a lot of those theories may abound. We might just talk to our GP and do things that way.”

“But look, who knows, I could be sitting here in five years’ time and have been wrong,” he added. “With some of the other issues, it’s been very clear what’s right and what’s wrong. I’ve been willing to speak about that, but could I 100 percent say that the vaccination program is safe? Well, I couldn’t because I’m not a chemist and I’m not a doctor and I’m not a scientist. I would imagine we wouldn’t be in the position we are on the mass vaccination programme without research having happened and without governments and medical people being totally sure, so I am comfortable in taking that risk.”

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