Number of unvaccinated players too high, says Hasenhuettl

The Premier League is reeling from coronavirus enforced postponements, while Championship, League One and League Two matches have also been called off amid a surge in cases.

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl looks on during a Premier League match against Arsenal.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl said the number of unvaccinated players was too high after the English Football League (EFL) revealed 25% of footballers from its 72 clubs do not intend to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Premier League is reeling from coronavirus enforced postponements, while Championship, League One and League Two matches have also been called off amid a surge in cases.

RELATED | Chelsea's Lukaku, Werner among four players to test positive for COVID-19

Training grounds have been shut to curb the spread of the virus, with Britain reporting a record 88,376 new COVID-19 infections on Thursday.

The Premier League's most recent data on vaccination levels of players in mid-October found that 81% of players had received at least one vaccination dose with 68% double vaccinated.

"It is too high a percentage in my opinion," said Hasenhuettl, referring to the EFL's data. "I can only speak about our club, and we have a nearly 100% vaccination rate... I feel safer in an environment like this.

"I do not know if this is the reason that we have no cases here, but I am very happy we have a different mindset ... We have done a lot of talking, a lot of convincing and in the end, it is about the players having an open mind.

Southampton, 15th in the Premier League on 17 points, will take on fifth-placed West Ham United on Dec. 26.

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