Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has insisted he is in no position to urge anyone to receive coronavirus vaccinations.
Midfielder N’Golo Kante has tested positive for COVID-19 and entered self-isolation, meaning he will miss Chelsea’s UEFA Champions League clash at Juventus on Wednesday.
Tuchel admitted he does not know the percentage of his Chelsea players who have been vaccinated, and insisted he is in no place to make public recommendations about vaccinations.
“N’Golo unfortunately tested positive, and needs to have time and follow the Government protocols,” said Tuchel.
“He was not in training today (Tuesday) and of course was not with the group. I don’t know the percentage of players vaccinated actually. It’s not even that I don’t want to tell you but I simply don’t know it.
“And we are also only a reflection of society, the players are adults and it’s free choice if they want to get vaccinated or not. And I think we should accept it.”
He pointed out that he could make the decision for himself, but everybody else needed to reflect about it and decide to take a risk or not to.
“I think it’s a serious question and vaccination seems to be a proper protection. I am vaccinated, I took the decision for myself. But I don’t really see myself in a position to speak out proper recommendations, I think that would go too far.
“I’m a football coach, I’m not a 100 per cent expert in this and I will leave it up to them. And everybody is adult enough and everybody lives in a free country and a free society, which is a good thing. So, people can make their choices.
“Of course we take actions and then are responsible for them, and we don’t like to lose players. But we are not now angry with N’Golo. Of course not. We are concerned about him and worried about him, as we are with any injured players who get a kick in a game.”
Chelsea must take on Juventus in Turin without Kante, and also the injured Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount and Reece James.
Mount has lost his battle to shake off a knock in time for the trip to Italy, while James will be out for at least another week with ankle trouble.