Bayern fines quarantined unvaccinated players: report

Kimmich was sent into a second round of isolation on Friday because of a new coronavirus exposure. He had just been released on Tuesday from quarantine arising from contact with team-mate Niklas Suele who tested positive last week.

Bayern's Joshua Kimmich during a training session prior to a Champions League outing.   -  AP

Bundesliga champion Bayern Munich has docked the wages of unvaccinated players like star midfielder Joshua Kimmich who is in quarantine over contact with Covid-infected individuals, Bild am Sonntag reported.

Kimmich was sent into a second round of isolation on Friday because of a new coronavirus exposure. He had just been released on Tuesday from quarantine arising from contact with team-mate Niklas Suele who tested positive last week.

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Kimmich, 26, has sparked a heated debate in Germany since revealing he opted not to be vaccinated due to "personal concerns".

Bayern bosses reportedly summoned him and four other unvaccinated teammates on Thursday to inform them of the pay cut when they are in isolation because they have not taken the jab, Bild said, quoting unnamed sources from the team.

Bayern has declined comment.

Under new rules taking effect from November 1, employees who miss work because of a quarantine are no longer entitled to receive compensation if they are unvaccinated.

Besides Kimmich, his teammates Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Michael Cuisance are also unvaccinated, Bild said.

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For Kimmich, whose annual pay reaches 20 million euros, a week's quarantine means earning losses of about 384,000 euros.

His absence has left his club struggling. On Friday, the Bundeliga leaders crashed to a shock 2-1 defeat at Augsburg.

Former Bayern boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told broadcaster Sky that if the wage cuts are confirmed, they "should be understood as a sign that the club is now reacting. Because it must react."

Germany's failure to shake off the pandemic has deep financial consequences for Bayern, he said.

Latest curbs imposed to tame the infections surge mean the club can only host one in four spectators at its stadium.

"That's of course also a big loss for FC Bayern," said Rummenigge.

Germany is battling a vicious fourth wave of the virus with infection numbers hitting new records this week.

A relatively low vaccination rate -- hovering under 70 per cent -- has left the country vulnerable and German leaders this week decided new curbs to spur those holding out against the jab to change their minds.

Those not immunised will have to provide negative tests to use public transport or go to the office.

They will also be shut out of restaurants, sporting events and cultural shows in regions where the hospitalisation rate stands at above three patients per 100,000 over the past seven days. The national average reached 5.5 on Sunday.

In the worst-hit zones, regional leaders have imposed partial shutdowns.

The state of Saxony has ordered all sporting and cultural venues shut, banned tourism and public consumption of alcohol.

(with inputs from AFP)

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