German champions Bayern Munich support the vaccination of its players to protect against COVID-19 but it is not mandatory, the club said amid a furore caused by player Joshua Kimmich’s announcement he was not vaccinated.
The Germany international had said on Saturday he was not vaccinated because of concerns he had over long-term effects of the vaccine. He said he might do it in the future.
This triggered an instant storm of criticism across Germany, with many arguing football players needed to be role models.
The German Football League (DFL) on Tuesday said more than 90% of players and staff in the top two German divisions had been vaccinated.
“It is important to say that we can only advise everyone to get vaccinated,” Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn told reporters on Monday evening. “We have highlighted that through a number of actions.”
“At the end of the day one has to respect that others can have a different opinion.”
Critics have said Kimmich’s position on vaccination also went against his actions of co-founding the #Wekickcorona organisation that financially supports charities and welfare organisations during the pandemic.