Twitter reacts to Liveline debate of unvaccinated Republic of Ireland player
Republic of Ireland footballer Callum Robinson, has revealed he has no plans to get the Covid-19 vaccine ahead of the Republics World Cup qualifying game this Saturday against Ajerbaijan, despite contracting the virus twice.
When asked for a reason for his stance, Robinson said:
“I wouldn’t force people to do it, it’s your choice and your body.”
Due to Republic of Ireland international call-ups, Longford Town will not be in action this weekend as the Airtricity League Premier Division clash against Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds on Saturday has been postponed.
Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has defended his decision to pick the striker to play in Saturdays game saying it would be "extremely radical" to punish players with international exclusion for refusing to be vaccinated.
"I think for individual associations to just come together to decide not to select any player that hasn’t got it would create as many problems,” added Kenny. “They’re problems we don’t need to have.”
Joe Duffy opened the conversation on his show Liveline today which seemed to snowball into an argument between pro and anti vaxxers, with some callers slamming Joe for bullying the 26 year old Robinson.
Shocking stuff from @joeliveline beretating Callum Robinson for not taking a covid vaccine. The HSE clearly state the longterm effects information are limited.— Karen Luby (@RuftynTufty) October 6, 2021
No one should be hounded in to taking any medication-especially a still on trial one! #liveline
While others felt that Robinson shouldn't be allowed to play in Saturdays game.
If you are not vaccinated you shouldn’t be playing for Ireland, unless you have proper medical reasons. #liveline— Cllr Declan Meenagh ️♿ #StayHomeSaveLives (@declancabra) October 6, 2021
Commenters on Twitter were also quick to point out that since Callum Robinson has had Covid twice, he would surely have stronger immunity towards the virus.
Joe is a dummy .. imagine covering this topic and not knowing that the player is recovered from covid and has more protection now than somebody vaccinated . Luke O Neill should be interviewed on the show to shut up those who don’t follow the science of natural immunity #Liveline— samryan (@allforoneinthis) October 6, 2021
The FAI has since released the following statement:
The Football Association of Ireland can confirm that all players and staff are tested for COVID-19 before reporting for international duty with Republic of Ireland teams and are tested repeatedly in camp in line with FAI and UEFA protocols.
We have encouraged all our players at all levels of the game to be vaccinated but we respect and must accept the right of all individuals to make a personal choice on COVID-19 vaccination.
The Association will continue to exercise the highest standards for the safety of all our stakeholders. Our COVID-19 testing protocols for all players and staff on international duty strictly follow UEFA protocols and are compliant with all Irish Government guidelines.
The FAI reconfirms our support for all Government, UEFA and FIFA protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic. We thank all our stakeholders for their ongoing exemplary compliance with Government guidelines over the last 19 months.
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