Tag Archives: Players

Southgate: Unvaccinated players swayed by ‘conspiracy theories’

Gareth Southgate says some footballers are not vaccinated against Covid-19 because they are swayed by conspiracy theories on social media.

The England manager presented a video after Euro 2020 urging people to get vaccinated and was abused online as a result.

The uptake of the vaccine among professional footballers has been sporadic, with Southgate admitting he is unsure how many of his current England squad have received both doses.

“I think within the age group and age range (of his players) – I don’t have all the data and statistics – I would sense that younger people are at a different scale in terms of uptake to older people,” he said.

“They seem to be more susceptible to social media posts or living their lives on social media, where a lot of those theories maybe abound. We might just talk to our GP and do things that way.

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Sky Sports News’ Rob Dorsett confirms that Kieran Trippier is set to captain England against Andorra in their World Cup qualifier on Saturday.

“But look, who knows, I could be sitting here in five years’ time and have been wrong. With some of the other issues it’s been very clear what’s right and what’s wrong. I’ve been willing to speak about that, but could I 100 per-cent say that the vaccination programme is safe? Well, I couldn’t because I’m not a chemist and I’m not a doctor and I’m not a scientist.

“I would imagine we wouldn’t be in the position we are on the mass vaccination programme without research having happened and without governments and medical people being totally sure, so I am comfortable in taking that risk.”

While footballers – particularly those in and around the England squad of late – have raised awareness and fought against racism, anti-discrimination and other topics, most remain private when it comes to the vaccination programme.

Southgate does not blame them and pointed to an example of the abuse he received for supporting the NHS vaccination drive as a reason why some may be put off.

“I recognise that others might feel less comfortable and have some anxiety,” he added. “That’s why it’s a bit more complicated and I guess that would be why perhaps they might feel less confident about speaking up.

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Sly Sports News’ Rob Dorsett explains why UEFA are satisfied the game between Andorra and England will do ahead despite a fire which burned down the media gantry and damaged part of the 4G pitch at the principality’s National Stadium.

“If you’re receiving messages when you support the programme that say ‘You could be up in front of a Nuremberg type trial in 10 years’ and people are quite vicious with comments, it does make you think twice about speaking out.

“Because what if you are on the wrong side? At the moment I couldn’t be sure I am on the right side. I am comfortable that I’ve had the vaccine.

“I’m comfortable that I think it was the right thing to do a video for the NHS. But I also recognise that others might not be so keen to put themselves in that situation.

“With racism they are absolutely clear. They know what they have lived through and experienced as a team.

“At their age they are more open to some of these conspiracy theories because they are reading social media more, they are perhaps more vulnerable to those sort of views. From what I can see there is a bit of confusion around.”

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Southgate says the confidence within his England squad has grown significantly during his five years in charge.

Southgate also suggested medical confidentiality is the basis for his players not publicly sharing their Covid vaccination status.

The Three Lions are preparing for World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary during the seventh international get-together since coronavirus changed the landscape.

This camp comes amid fresh scrutiny about vaccination rates within football and as organisers of the Qatar World Cup are reportedly planning to ban unvaccinated players.

The players have given little indication of their vaccination status in media activity since joining up with the squad at St George’s Park and Southgate insists it is not up to him or the Football Association to instruct the squad on whether they should reveal their stance on vaccines.

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Will Andorra’s pitch impact England?

“There’s a thing called medical confidentiality which seems to be being totally overlooked in a lot of areas at the moment,” he said on the eve of the Andorra fixture.

“These aren’t our players. I don’t think the clubs would thank us for sharing that sort of information and frankly, it is personal to the players. I’m sure you have GDPR at your workplace, you’ll be conscious of all of that.

“Our doctor over the last year and a half has always spoken to the players about the current situation in terms of infection in the country.

“He’s always explaining the benefits of vaccination in that context. But no, we of course have had to deal with many different topics, but also we have to prepare a team to play football.

“We’re here to play football. The players are here to play football. We can’t really have much impact over the next two or three days – we certainly can’t jab everybody over the next two or three days.

“I’ll always speak to the players about anything in their lives. But we are here to win football matches first and foremost.

“Look, everybody knows where I stand on the subject. To move out of a pandemic, the only way was a vaccination programme and I think that was essential.

“There is then the complication that there are lots of individual circumstances around that and I understand that some people would be anxious, perhaps.”

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PL players’ reluctance to get Covid-19 jab frustrates Klopp

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp does not understand why there is a reluctance among Premier League players to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

The Premier League revealed this week only seven of the 20 clubs have squads where 50 per cent or more of the players are fully vaccinated.

Klopp said 99% per cent of Liverpool players have been vaccinated and he did not have to convince anyone to do so.

The German, 54, added he believed it was his personal responsibility to consider the lives of others.

“I got the vaccination because I was concerned about myself but even more so for everyone else around me,” Klopp said.

“If I get it and suffer – my fault. If I get it and spread it around to everyone else – my fault and not their fault.”

He added: “Where did I get the knowledge from that I think it makes sense to get the vaccination? I called doctors who I’ve known for years.

“Most specialists tell us the vaccination is the solution for the situation in this moment.”

A special Sky Sports News survey of the 20 clubs revealed wide variations in take-up levels, with Wolves reporting all of their players are fully vaccinated.

League officials have now written directly to clubs offering a special “reward” to those who have the highest number of vaccinated players.

In the letter, seen by Sky Sports News, the exact incentive has yet to be decided.

“I think we can say we have 99 per cent vaccinated,” added Klopp, whose side host Manchester City in the league on Sunday, live on Sky Sports.

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Sky Sports Premier League HD

“I didn’t have to convince the players, it was more a natural decision from the team.

“I can’t remember really talking to a player and convincing him why he should because I’m not a doctor.

“What I would give, like in a lot of other situations, would be my advice – but it was not necessary.”

On Friday, it was announced that Premier League players will be allowed to travel to red-list countries for international duty – but only if they are fully vaccinated.

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Terrifying moment bat-wielding thugs attack players at charity cricket match – VIDEO

Terrifying moment bat-wielding thugs attack players at charity cricket match - VIDEO

Thugs could be seen swinging their cricket bats at rival players. Shocking footage of the incident shows a group of players engaged in an animated discussion close to the edge of the pitch, before a topless thug sprints towards them swinging willow. Two more hooligans – one still wearing his pads – are then seen exchanging blows, as the screams of onlookers ring out across the ground.

The violence erupted at the end of a game at Mote Park Cricket Club in Maidstone on Sunday at a chair fundraiser.

Shehzad Akram, who helped with the running of the event, said: “We tried our best for charity and these lunatics just spoiled it.

“At the end of the day, we were having the final match and it was the last couple of overs when some guys came on the pitch and attacked a few of the players.

“I don’t know what the main reason was behind it, but there were some troublemakers in the ground.

READ MORE: ‘Exploiters!’ EU blasted over unethical Africa trade policy

“They started fighting with their bats and hitting people.

“I was far away from it, but by the time I got near, they were still fighting and swearing at each other.”

Mr Akram says police arrived at the ground after the fight broke out at about 7pm.

Paramedics were also called to tend to those who sustained injuries.

On social media on Monday, The Mote Cricket Club said: “The Mote CC would like to distance ourselves from any events that took place at our club yesterday.

“We do not oversee and are not responsible for behaviour of any of those who commercially rent our ground.

“We do not condone these events, and are saddened and disappointed in the organisers and those involved with the incident.”

A Kent Police spokesman told KentOnline: “We were called at around 6.50pm on Sunday regarding a disturbance at a sportsground in Willow Way, Maidstone.

“Officers attended and spoke to those who were present at the scene.

“There have been no arrests at this stage and enquiries are continuing into the incident.”

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: UK Feed

Padres fan heard shots at Nationals game then saw heroic acts from Padres players

Padres fan heard shots at Nationals game then saw heroic acts from Padres players

News 8 talked with a Padres fan who was in Nationals Park during the chaos.

Fear and chaos at the Padres game in Washington DC Saturday night. “I thought it was a speaker malfunction, but it was a series of very, very, very loud bangs,” said San Diegan Joe O’Brien. Those bangs were gunshots – fired during the 6th inning from somewhere behind O’Brien’s seats on the third base side.

“One of the guards on the field – cause I was sitting pretty close to the field – told everyone to get down,” O’Brien said, adding that several people started running for the exits. O’Brien laid down on the concrete under his seat. “I then texted my mom and told her I was ok… I loved her too… just in case.

At this point, no one knew if the shooters were in the ballpark – or outside. He says people all over the stadium were panicking. “What’s ironic enough is that a lot of people who were running out on my side – were running directly into the incident location.”

Umpires also started running for cover. Players too. But then Joe, a diehard Padres fan, saw something that made him even prouder of his home team. “Fernando Tatis Jr. run out of the dugout – grab a bunch of people – he had a lady literally in his arms… brought them into the dugout.”

You can’t tell from our Zoom chat, but Joe is wearing a Manny Machado jersey. Manny also ran into the stands to make sure fans were safe. “I already thought really highly of those two, but it really showed in times of crisis what they’re made of,” O’Brien said.

It took a while to sort things out, but police discovered the shooting actually took place between two cars right outside the ballpark. Two people in one of those cars were shot – along with an innocent bystander. Her injuries are not considered life-threatening.

As for Joe, well, he was back at the ballpark Sunday to cheer his Padres on. “I’m a San Diegan and I got tickets for all three games… and it’s worth it. The Padres are that good and that exciting to watch.”

WATCH: Padres manager, fans react to players’ actions amid shooting outside game

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This post originally posted here CBS8 – Sports

How Lions players rated in South Africa ‘A’ loss

The British and Irish Lions fell to a narrow 17-13 loss at the hands of South Africa ‘A’ in Cape Town on Wednesday as the visitors suffered their first defeat on tour; Warren Gatland has plenty to ponder ahead of the opening Test which begins on Saturday 24 May

Last Updated: 14/07/21 11:14pm

Curry starred against the South Africans

Curry starred against the South Africans

The Lions came up just short in Cape Town against South Africa ‘A’, but who stood out to stake their claim for a Test spot?

Tom Curry showed his class as he bids to start the first Test at seven, while fellow Englishmen Maro Itoje and Anthony Watson also pressed their cases for selection in the starting XV.

After comfortably winning their opening three games on tour, the Lions came unstuck against a strong South Africa ‘A’ side thanks to tries from Sbu Nkosi and captain Lukhanyo Am.

Despite the setback, there were lots of positives to come out of the performance nonetheless.

Highlights as the Lions fell to their first defeat of the tour against a strong South Africa 'A' side in Cape Town

Sky Sports 4:59
Highlights as the Lions fell to their first defeat of the tour against a strong South Africa ‘A’ side in Cape Town

Highlights as the Lions fell to their first defeat of the tour against a strong South Africa ‘A’ side in Cape Town

With just one more warm-up game against the Stormers on Saturday before the first Test match against the Springboks, we look at how the Lions rated…

Liam Williams: 6/10

Lasted just 14 minutes and had to be replaced by Elliot Daly following a head injury assessment. The Welshman’s chances of starting in the opening Test must surely now be in doubt.

Anthony Watson: 7

Produced a try-saving tackle on Nkosi early on and prospered both under the high ball and in open play. The Bath wing, who was one of the stars of the 2017 tour, looks set to play a major part once again.

Anthony Watson laid down a marker for starting Test jersey

Anthony Watson laid down a marker for starting Test jersey

Chris Harris: 6

Like most of his colleagues, saw little of the ball in attacking play during the early blitz, but was instrumental in a major improvement thereafter. Cheslin Kolbe’s fantastic footwork bamboozled Harris and led to Am’s try in the first half, which might concern Gatland.

Bundee Aki: 6

Punched his weight as the Lions tried to take the game to South Africa ‘A’ after a difficult start. He’s quietly been going under the radar but is certainly in contention to start in the midfield.

Louis Rees-Zammit: 6

Agonisingly short of the line when stretching out to try to give his side the lead and pinned Kolbe on his own try-line with the screw turning. He faces major competition to start on the wing from the likes of Josh Adams and Duhan van der Merwe.

Owen Farrell: 5

Kicked poorly out of hand in the early stages and was charged down by Eben Etzebeth for the opening try on a night when he took several big hits, but kept going. A good night for Dan Biggar, who pulled out of the game due to a minor ankle issue, in the race to start at fly-half.

Warren Gatland admits his side needed a tough game against South Africa 'A' and was delighted with their second half performance, despite the defeat

Sky Sports 2:28
Warren Gatland admits his side needed a tough game against South Africa ‘A’ and was delighted with their second half performance, despite the defeat

Warren Gatland admits his side needed a tough game against South Africa ‘A’ and was delighted with their second half performance, despite the defeat

Conor Murray: 6

Struggled to establish a relationship with his half-back partner early on, but gradually worked his way into the game. After being named as replacement captain for Alun Wyn Jones, the Irishman is surely favourite to start at nine.

Wyn Jones: 6

Forced an early scrum collapse from the South Africans and worked tirelessly in the loose, getting his rewards with a first Lions try before being forced off with a shoulder injury. Jones will hope it’s not too bad as he certainly did his cause no harm in Cape Town.

Ken Owens: 6

Solid on his lineout throws and industrious in the forward battle to help the tourists claw their way back into the game. Owens has stiff competition from the English pair of Jamie George and Luke Cowan-Dickie.

Kyle Sinckler: 6

Gave no quarter in a brutal front row battle and was never found wanting as the Lions’ pack hammered away deep inside the South African 22. After initially not being selected for the tour, he might just yet have a major say in the Test series.

Maro Itoje: 7

A constant nuisance at the breakdown and dominant at the lineout, he drove the Lions forward throughout. His best game so far means he’s almost a certain starter for the visitors.

Maro Itoje says that the loss was a brilliant lesson as they learnt a lot about the team they'll face in the Test series

Sky Sports 2:35
Maro Itoje says that the loss was a brilliant lesson as they learnt a lot about the team they’ll face in the Test series

Maro Itoje says that the loss was a brilliant lesson as they learnt a lot about the team they’ll face in the Test series

Iain Henderson: 6

Helped to turn the tide as the Lions’ maul started to make an impact and earn them a greater share of the ball. With original tour captain Jones set to re-join the squad, the battle to feature in the second row is certainly heating up.

Josh Navidi: 6

As busy as ever in the heat of the back row scrap and made a series of telling surges forward. The late replacement to the tour is making a real case to be heavily involved against the Springboks.

Tom Curry: 8

A thorn in South Africa ‘A’s side throughout as he foraged for the ball and repeatedly exploited the space ahead of him with ball in hand, while also charging down a Faf De Klerk kick. Curry is surely now favourite to start ahead of Hamish Watson.

Taulupe Faletau: 6

Grew into the game as the Lions fought back and was an increasing threat with the ball in hand. Sam Simmonds will want to prove his worth ahead of the first Test at Cape Town Stadium.

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This post originally posted here SkySports | News

‘Get educated!’ Dan Walker slams culprits who sent players racial abuse after Euro defeat

'Get educated!' Dan Walker slams culprits who sent players racial abuse after Euro defeat

Following a nail-biting game, England and Italy went head-to-head in a penalty shootout in a bid to win the Euro 2020 trophy. Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions unfortunately lost to their rivals after the final penalty, taken by Bukayo Saka, was saved.

His fellow teammates Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho also didn’t manage to get the ball in the goal.

Since England’s defeat, the three players have been subjected to racial abuse online.

Dan Walker, amongst other celebrities, have spoken out to condemn the behaviour on social media.

Taking to his Instagram page today, the BBC Breakfast star shared a picture of the England squad having a group hug following their loss.

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“I know a lot has come from abroad. People who track those things have been able to explain that. But not all of it.

“It’s just not what we stand for. We have been a beacon of light in bringing people together in people being able to relate to the national team, and the national team stands for everybody and so that togetherness has to continue.

“We heal together as a team now, and we’re there for them, and I know that 99 per cent of the public will be as well.”

He added of his youngest player: “Bukayo in particular has been an absolute star in this tournament.