Footballers should be prioritised for coronavirus vaccine ahead of Euros, says Southgate

19 March 2021, 08:31 | Updated: 19 March 2021, 09:43

Gareth Southgate has said footballers should be in line for the vaccine after the priority groups have received their jab
Gareth Southgate has said footballers should be in line for the vaccine after the priority groups have received their jab. Picture: PA

By Patrick Grafton-Green

England manager Gareth Southgate has called for football players to be prioritised for the coronavirus vaccine ahead of this year's European Championships.

Describing the success of UK’s vaccination programme as “incredible”, Southgate said footballers should be in line for the jab once all vulnerable people have been vaccinated.

He cited the risks involved in travelling across Europe and the world to play matches.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson to receive Oxford jab as he urges country to get vaccinated

EXPLAINED: Vaccine delay: When will over 40s get their Covid-19 jabs?

"We are moving to the stage where we are asking athletes to put themselves in situations where they are more likely to catch the virus than others and I think we have a bit of a responsibility to them as well," Southgate said.

Government data up to March 17 shows 27,614,526 jabs have been given in the UK so far, including 25,735,472 first and 1,879,054 second doses.

The rollout is currently working its way through the top nine priority groups, with over-50s who have not received their first dose invited to book online this week.

All over-50s are on track to receive their first dose by mid-April, the Government has said.

The UK ready to host more Euro 2020 games

However the UK has been hit by a supply shortage that means the rollout will slow down over four weeks from the end of March, with the focus shifting to second doses once all priority groups have been vaccinated.

Southgate admitted that, because of this, his suggestion may not be possible.

But he said: “My view would have been we were close to getting to where it would have been acceptable for professional sportsmen to be on the list.

“We are asking them to keep playing, they’re having to quarantine when they come back from certain situations, they’re having to take some risk going back to families and a lot of them have caught the virus because they’ve been working.

“I was not suggesting they should have been ahead of key workers and teachers but we are getting close to the points where it could be acceptable.”

He also suggested that football “could afford to save the NHS money by buying vaccines and administering them”.

The European Championships start on June 11.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

A picture of Alexei Navalny next to flowers in front of the Russian embassy in Berlin

Body of Russian opposition leader Navalny handed over to his mother, aide says

Alexei Navalny's body handed to mother after 'three-hour ultimatum' over late Russian opposition figure's burial

Alexei Navalny's body handed to mother after 'three-hour ultimatum' over late Russian opposition figure's burial

French President Emmanuel Macron at the agriculture fair

Macron booed by French farmers as he visits Paris agricultural fair

Volodymyr Zelensky

Western leaders arrive in Kyiv as Ukraine marks invasion anniversary

Lee Anderson has been suspended for his comments about Sadiq Khan

Lee Anderson suspended from Conservative Party after claiming 'Islamists have control of Sadiq Khan'

Wet weather is expected on Sunday and Monday

Fears of travel chaos on Sunday and Monday amid heavy rain, as yellow weather warning issued

Jesse Baird and Luke Davies have not been seen since Monday

Police in desperate riverbed hunt for missing TV presenter and boyfriend, as cop ex-lover accused of murder

Yulia Navalnaya

Navalny widow accuses Putin of mocking Christianity for refusing to return body

Charles has shared a message of support for Ukraine

King Charles hails 'heroism' of Ukrainians as world leaders mark second anniversary of Russian invasion in Kyiv

Junior doctors have gone on strike again

Junior doctors walk out for five-day strike amid long-standing pay row, in latest round of NHS industrial action

Sarah Oliver was killed in the collision

Woman killed by driver who sped through red light while on her phone, as she is jailed for nine years

Spain Building Fire

10th body found in charred remnants of Valencia apartment building

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Brazilian president accuses Israel of committing genocide in Gaza

Hamilton Palace is said to be abandoned

Crumbling Sussex mansion abandoned by millionaire developer 'is UK's biggest slum' and is 'magnet for drug abuse'

Grant Shapps has vowed that Britain will back Ukraine 'to the end'

'We will be there to the end': Shapps vows UK will back Ukraine until war is over, as Britain gives £245m military aid

LBC spoke to a mother and daughter from the war-torn city of Mariupol

Ukrainian refugees accuse Home Office of becoming ‘tired of Ukraine’ after altering resettlement schemes