ENGLAND

Players should be offered vaccine, says England's Southgate

"Players are having to take some risk going back to families and a lot of them have caught the virus because they've been working," says Southgate.

Players should be offered vaccine, says England's Southgate

England manager Gareth Southgate has called for players to be offered a covid-19 vaccine as they are risking their health by competing and travelling overseas.

More than half of all adults in England have had their first dose of a vaccine, with the vulnerable, key workers and elderly prioritised during the roll-out.

"Incredible vaccination programme"

"Our vaccination programme has been incredible ... nearly all the vulnerable people have had the first vaccine," Southgate said.

"My view would have been we were close to getting to where it would have been acceptable for professional sportsmen to be on the list.

"We are asking them to keep playing, they're having to quarantine when they come back from certain situations, they're having to take some risk going back to families and a lot of them have caught the virus because they've been working.

Players becoming priority

"I was not suggesting they should have been ahead of key workers and teachers but we are getting close to the points where it could be acceptable.

"Actually, football could afford to save the NHS money by buying vaccines and administering them."

England face San Marino in their opening 2022 World Cup qualifying match on March 25 before facing Albania (March 28) and Poland (March 31)