Why will Gignac miss the return leg against Orlando?
Once again, Tigres will be without the French striker in the CONCACAF Champions League due to a personal issues.
Tigres will once again be without the presence of their star striker, André Pierre-Gignac - this time, for the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League round of 16 game against Orlando City. The reason why Gignac will not be travelling with his team mates has been known since 2020 - the French striker has not been vaccinated against Covid-19, a requirement that the United States continues to enforce for all travellers planning to cross its borders.
The CDC travel requirements state: “You must be fully vaccinated with the primary series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine to travel to the United States by plane. Only limited exceptions apply”.
Gignac explained his decision not to be vaccinated ahead of the 2022 MLS All Star game. “I asked them to respect this issue, which for me is a point of belief, training and something that comes from my childhood and origin. I appreciate the support and decision on this issue, which is 100% personal”, he said in July last year.
Gignac was eligible to play in the 2020 edition of the CONCACAF tournament because at that time, no Covid vaccines had been approved. Tigres ended as champions for the first time, beating LAFC with Gignac finishing as the tournament’s top scorer on six goals.
Meanwhile, Gignac is recovering from a muscular injury which has kept sidelined him for the last three games. The CONCACAF Champions League tie between Tigres and Orlando remains wide open after the first leg ended 0-0.