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Calls to make vaccinations mandatory in the Bundesliga

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Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich sparked debate last month by revealing he had opted not to be vaccinated against Covid 19

A senior German politician has called to make it mandatory for all professional footballers in Germany to be vaccinated as the country struggles to contain a ferocious fourth wave of Covid-19.

“I’m in favour of compulsory vaccination for certain professional groups – that’s what we need,” Bavarian state leader Markus Soeder told Bild TV.

“I think it would be a good signal if we discuss something like that for the football sector as well – as a signal of unity between fans and players,” he said.

Only fully vaccinated fans are allowed into football stadiums in Bavaria, while players only have to show a negative test result, Soeder said.

The weekly recorded incidence of the virus in Germany hit a new high on Tuesday, one day after surpassing 300 out of every 100,000 people, the first time it has crossed the threshold since the beginning of the pandemic.

The alarming figures are fuelled in part by sluggish vaccination rates.

Around 90 percent of footballers in Germany’s top two leagues are fully vaccinated – a much higher figure than the 67.6 national average.

But last month, Germany midfielder Joshua Kimmich sparked debate about whether or not it should be mandatory for footballers to be vaccinated by admitting he had opted out for “personal concerns”.

The Bayern Munich star was one of five players quarantined last week while on international duty with Germany after club team-mate Niklas Suele – who is fully vaccinated – tested positive for the virus.

On Tuesday, Kimmich, as well as Bayern team-mates Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting all left quarantine and took part in training.

Only Suele, who has light symptoms, remains in house quarantine and misses the Bavarian giant’s league game at Augsburg on Friday.

Bayern’s CEO Oliver Kahn has made the club’s position clear by insisting “our players ought to be vaccinated”.

Read Also: WCQ: Southgate backs Kane to become England’s top scorer

Only a handful of Bayern stars have opted not to be vaccinated and Kahn says those concerned are “now thinking very, very hard”, because the consequences of their scepticism are “not insignificant”.

However, Cologne coach Steffen Baumgart warned against mandatory vaccinations in professional German football.

“It’s the wrong approach. Why should there be compulsory vaccinations for footballers and not for care workers, who have daily contact with people?” Baumgart told reporters Tuesday.

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Ligue 1: Marseille stunned by in-form Brest

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Marseille missed the chance to cement their grip on second place in the Ligue 1 table on Saturday as Jorge Sampaoli’s side threw away the lead to lose 2-1 at home to a Brest team on a record winning run.

Brazilian international Gerson gave Marseille a first-half lead at the Velodrome with his second goal in as many games after playing a one-two with captain Dimitri Payet.

However, Brest drew level early in the second half as Romain Faivre scored a penalty awarded for a handball by Boubacar Kamara.

Franck Honorat then crashed a superb winner in off the underside of the crossbar as the side from Brittany made it six successive league wins, the best run in their history in the top flight.

Read Also: EPL: Masuaku fluke helps West Ham beat Chelsea in London derby

They are up to sixth, while Marseille remain second, 12 points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain who are in action later on Saturday at Lens.

Kylian Mbappe could be rested for a PSG side already missing the injured Neymar, but Lionel Messi — who won the Ballon d’Or for the seventh time on Monday — should start.

Marseille could drop down the table depending on results elsewhere this weekend, with Rennes and Nice both sitting within two points of the former Champions League winners.

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Bernardo stars again as Man City move to top of EPL with Watford win

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Bernardo Silva continued his scintillating form as Manchester City surged to the top of the Premier League table with a comfortable 3-1 victory at struggling Watford.

Raheem Sterling opened the scoring with a simple header on four minutes as the visitors threatened to run riot against the home side’s porous defence.

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Jack Grealish had several chances to double the advantage before the in-form Bernardo fizzed in a rebound from a narrow angle just past the half hour.

 

City continued to pose all of the questions following the restart and Bernardo grabbed his seventh goal of the season with a wonderful curler that flew into the top corner on 63 minutes.

For long spells it looked like a case of how many for the visitors but Watford did give the home support some cheer when substitute Cucho Hernandez acrobatically volleyed in a rebound 16 minutes from time.

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The result means City take advantage of former leaders Chelsea’s defeat at West Ham earlier in the day to move a point clear of second-placed Liverpool at the summit. Watford remain three points above the drop zone in 17th spot.

Pep Guardiola’s men will now turn their focus to Tuesday’s Champions League clash at RB Leipzig having already guaranteed top spot in Group A before hosting Wolves in the Premier League on Saturday. Watford travel to Brentford on Friday evening.

 

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EPL: Origi nets in stoppage time as Liverpool take advantage of Chelsea slip

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