Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich has sparked controversy after confirming he is yet to get his COVID-19 jab as infection figures in Germany have risen to their highest level since last May.
Four other unnamed Bayern Munich players are also yet to be vaccinated.
Team-mate Thomas Müller has said that while he respects the decision, he hopes his colleagues will change their minds, adding that “vaccinating would be better”.
Club legend Karl-Heinz Rummenigge went one step further by saying it would be better if Kimmich was vaccinated, according to local media. Rummenigge thinks Kimmich should take the jab soon.
Kimmich’s commitment to the “We kick Corona” campaign, which he himself set up to support social and charitable organisations helping people in need as a result of the pandemic, is now being questioned.
The Bayern Munich midfielder defended his decision not to get vaccinated, insisting that he is “not a COVID denier or anti-vaxxer”.
Meanwhile, fans of many Bundesliga clubs will have to watch games at home instead of going to the stadium if they are unvaccinated.
In the Bundesliga clubs, the vaccination rate is around 94 per cent – not only amongst players but also coaches and trainers.
The head of the German Football League (DFL), Christian Seifert, told local media that he cannot understand why professionals did not get the vaccine.
In recent weeks, numerous politicians and experts have appealed to the undecided to get vaccinated.
70 per cent of Germans have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and two-thirds (66,20 per cent) are fully vaccinated.