A FINE Gael politician has slammed Ireland players for not taking the Covid-19 vaccine and says he would support calls to dump them from the squad as they are putting lives at risk.
Footie star Callum Robinson admitted earlier this week that he has not received the vaccine despite having twice contracted the virus – missing seven Ireland games as a result.
And Boys in Green boss Stephen Kenny revealed a number of players in his squad have made the same decision despite encouragement from the FAI to get the miracle jab.
The Ireland gaffer has been left with a number of headaches before key matches, with players being ruled out having been declared close contacts.
Fine Gael Senator Micheal Carrigy blasted the stance as âvery disappointingâ and said he would support a decision to leave out unvaccinated players as they are putting the players at risk.
He told the Irish Sun: âIf he made a decision like that I would support him, it’s about the bigger picture.
âWe need to send out the positives to our youth. It’s not just affecting the youth it’s affecting the team.
âIf people want to represent their country and be successful it’s important that they’re vaccinated and that they’re not putting any other members of the team or the whole set-up at risk and jeopardizing potential results.
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âI think it’s very disappointing that someone representing us on the international stage would be so vocal, I think they should consider their own international future.â
Senator Carrigy also insisted the country would not be reopening if everyone made the same irresponsible decision as Robinson and company.
He added: âThere’s a lot of anti-vaccine messages on social media and we look up to sports people, in particular people who are representing our country internationally.
âWe look to them, we admire them and they’re representing our country and I just don’t think it sends out the right signal. Especially a high profile athlete, representing the country, refusing to take it, for no medical reason only that they don’t want to.
âIt’s the wrong message to be sending out. We have seen the effects that this has had on our country, we have had 5,000 families affected with death. We have had businesses struggle to get re-established.
âIf more people had this attitude we’d have a lower vaccination level, we wouldn’t be reopening our economy.â
Last week, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp urged all footballers to take the Covid-19 vaccine as he compared not doing so to drunk driving as it puts other people in danger.
An FAI statement on Wednesday said it encouraged all footballers to take the vaccine but respected the fact each player has a personal choice.
In contrast, Irish Rugby revealed on Wednesday that â99.2 per cent of all staff and playersâ have been vaccinated.
Kenny’s Republic of Ireland team play a World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan in Baku tomorrow.