Berlin – In the highly emotional vaccination debate, the country leaders want to sideline unwilling football professionals. The Prime Ministers agree that what is mandatory on the stands in some stadiums this weekend should apply on the pitch: 2G. They appeal to reason and solidarity with the vaccinated followers. “That would be a huge signal that there is an identity between fans and players,” emphasized Bavaria’s head of state Markus Söder in Munich on Friday: “Because the fans in the stadium have to take on a lot and the football players are there for the fans.”
Professionals like Joshua Kimmich, who has concerns about the vaccination and was again unable to participate in FC Bayern training due to self-isolation on Friday, should take the lead as a vaccination example in the fight against the alarming record numbers in the corona pandemic – if not out of conviction hold under duress. Those who cannot identify themselves as recovered or vaccinated would then be out.
“You can rightly speak, the footballers are well paid and are role models for young people too. I think then they have to behave like role models, “said North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst of the Bild newspaper and underpinned the initiative of the state leaders for a game ban for unvaccinated professionals.
Almost ten percent of the professionals in league one and two are not vaccinated
What would that mean? No team in German professional football should have problems getting a squad together for the game day. According to the clubs, the rates of vaccinated or recovered players are very high, far higher than the general vaccination rate in Germany.
An argument that could curb the advance of the political decision-makers in the federal states. At least the sports and labor lawyer Martin Schimke considers it “difficult to implement” because it is “disproportionate”.
According to official information, almost ten percent of professionals in the first and second leagues are not vaccinated. In the total population it is around 32 percent. Unlike in the care sector, for example, footballers do not actually come into contact with vulnerable groups in their professional practice.
Between appeals and legal questions
For employees in hospitals, nursing homes and homes for the disabled, as well as mobile care services, the prime ministers agreed with the executive federal government on Thursday that the federal states wanted to oblige them to have a corona vaccination. This applies “facility-related” and in the event of contact with particularly endangered people.
Appeals to get vaccinated, whether to protect your own health, whether as a sign of social action in a community, whether as a contribution to not overloading intensive care units, have been around for weeks, they have been around for months. But they just don’t reach part of the population.
Whether football professionals could be excluded from their profession if they do not get vaccinated is a legal question. “I would advise the federal states to take the risk of litigation,” said constitutional lawyer Hans Michael Heinig from the Georg-August University in Göttingen. However, the legal situation is somewhat unclear.
A game ban for unvaccinated professionals is under discussion
One is leisure time – going to a soccer game. The other is professional practice – directly participating in a soccer game. “We have to check now whether we can get that implemented,” said CDU politician Wüst on Thursday with a view to a game ban on unvaccinated professionals.
“The topic of footballers is always everyone’s favorite topic, which ultimately interests more than politics itself,” said Cologne coach Steffen Baumgart, who himself said he was given the booster on Friday: “I think that we have completely different construction sites. ”Arguments that cannot be ignored.
“You shouldn’t fool yourself and see it not only as a symbolic politics, because there is also a high vaccination rate in professional football, but because this contact sport also has to deal with the fact that it is confronted with many vaccination breakthroughs,” emphasized the former chairman of the ethics council, Peter Dabrock. At this point, professional football should “take the necessary social responsibility”.
The pioneering role of sport not only has a symbolic function, “but one that has a very real medical and thus also a social and ethical background,” said the theology professor at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.
Unvaccinated players fall out quicker as contact persons
Role model role, responsibility – these are the terms that certainly play the most important role in the discussion about vaccinations for football professionals. But it is also simply a matter of not vaccinated players failing faster as contact persons alone – as with Kimmich.
His coach Julian Nagelsmann from FC Bayern made it clear: “I claim that the players who are not vaccinated understand that the risk of missing out on more games and training sessions is much greater as an unvaccinated person than a vaccinated person. I don’t think I have to make that clear to a player. ”That is obvious and is on the platter.
“Unvaccinated people are, apart from their health, a risk for the game”, recently emphasized the head of the German ice hockey league, Gernot Tripcke in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Every unvaccinated person is simply an additional risk for carriers of infection, explained health economist Florian Kainzinger, who had advised the professional leagues in football, basketball and ice hockey on the development of their hygiene concepts, among other things, at the NDR. Vaccinations among athletes who are not yet, therefore, viewed quite soberly, would also bring more planning security. But this discussion is and will remain highly emotional.