EXCLUSIVE: Government sources confirmed to the Sunday Mirror that talks between senior officials from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Culture, Media and Sports and the Premier League are ongoing
Vaccine passports that should be introduced during football matches could result in a red card from 210,000 fans every week.
Fans risk being kicked out of stadiums in England unless they are hit twice.
Plans to show passports at turnstiles are being finalized by the Tories after talks with soccer chiefs, the Sunday Mirror can reveal.
The move would apply to ALL 92 professional clubs in England, raising fears of financial collapse for lower league teams who need match day cash to survive.
Last night Labor shadow Secretary of State for Sports Jo Stevens cried foul. She said: âInsisting on vaccine passports less than a month before the start of the season will cause major disruption, especially at the lower end of the pyramid.
âThe government cut and changed its advice, making it impossible to plan for people and businesses. “
Mirror analysis reveals the potential impact on fans. Around 800,000 will attend Premier League matches each week as the crowds return to full force.
Taking children out leaves 704,000 – and 30% of them are not double-bitten. That means 210,000 would be locked out – plus many more in the second tier league, League One and Two.
Our revelation comes after Vaccine Minister Nadhim Zahawi said expanding the passport regime was “the right thing to do”. He said venues – including sports stadiums – may require proof of double vaccination.
Now the Mirror can confirm that an announcement needs to be made before the start of the season.
Government sources yesterday confirmed talks between senior officials from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Culture, Media and Sports and the Premier League.
But MP Ms Stevens said: âThe work has been clear that using the vaccination status alone will exclude those who cannot be vaccinated or have not had the vaccine due to delays.
âA double bite does not prove that you are not a carrier of the virus. Site access tests would be more effective.
Human rights group Liberty also criticized the plans. Director Gray Collier said: âWe all want to know that we are doing what it takes to stay safe and protect each other, but this is another unnecessary and confrontational intervention that will end up damaging them. communities, without helping them.
âPassports for vaccines will ultimately create a two-tier society in which some will be able to access freedoms and support while others will be excluded. This authoritarian approach has been the hallmark of this government’s response to the pandemic. “
Sky Sports expert Gary Neville has spoken out against the plan. He said online: âYou shouldn’t need a passport to watch a football game. Test trials have been carried out with great success.
But former Liverpool player Mark Lawrenson backed the move. He told us, âI think this is a great idea. Why wouldn’t you want to be safe and why wouldn’t you make sure you have passports?
âIf I get on a plane, I would like anyone I am sitting next to be vaccinated. Why wouldn’t you want it if you want to live longer? If that means we can get people into the stadiums, then do it. And without a crowd at the lower league clubs, what are they going to do? It’s all about finances.
Empty stadiums last season cost the 20 Premier League clubs around Â£ 1.1bn. And many EFL clubs are worried about going to the wall if fans weren’t allowed to attend this season.
Members of the Board of Directors of the Football Supporters Association will hold an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss the decision.
FSA President Malcolm Clarke said: âIn a recent FSA poll, three-quarters of the fans told us they would be there from the first game of the season.
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“Clubs and authorities should be aware, however, that they are communicating to supporters the measures they are taking to ensure the safety of fans, which will help reassure and encourage those who may be reluctant to return.”
England manager Gareth Southgate said last week that getting the vaccine was a chance to “get your freedom back”.
In a message posted by No10, he said: âThere is no doubt that the immunization program is our best way out of this problem, not only as a country but across the world. I just wanted to say how important it is, if you haven’t received your vaccine yet, to go and do it. “
His comment came after it was revealed that the proportion of people aged 20 to 29 who tested positive in England had reached record levels.
Experts say UK cases increased across the age group as the Euro 2020 football tournament progressed. And the World Health Organization said that caused a 10% spike across the continent.
In April, chiefs representing football, rugby, cricket, tennis and F1 supported vaccine passports and Covid testing as a âcredibleâ way to enable full capacity.
But they also warned that “the final approach must not be discriminatory, must protect privacy and have clear exit criteria.”
A government source said yesterday: âTalks are taking place between the departments and the Premier League who are keen on this idea. No decision has yet been made. “