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too privileged Irish football legend John Giles says he 'can’t understand' why so few footballers have got Covid jab

'I think footballers are being given a lot of freedom in this particular situation'

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Eamon Dunphy and Johnny Giles are pictured with the late Bill O’Herlihy

Eamon Dunphy and Johnny Giles are pictured with the late Bill O’Herlihy

Eamon Dunphy and Johnny Giles are pictured with the late Bill O’Herlihy

Irish football legend John Giles has said he “can’t understand” why so few footballers have availed of the jab, as he slammed “privileged “payers who are refusing to get vaccinated. 

A debate over whether elite athletes should be forced to get vaccinated was prompted by the revelation that a majority of Premier League players have still not been given a Covid-19 shot.

When Ireland international Callum Robinson revealed on Tuesday that he has no plans to get vaccinated, Giles fellow pundit Eamon Dunphy said it was "wrong" for football players not to get the vaccine, adding that it should be "almost compulsory" across the board.

Giles, who at 80 years of age, was among one of the first to receive the vaccine in Ireland believes players have been “too privileged” during the pandemic.

“A lot of players are not being vaccinated, which I don’t agree with,’ Giles told Off The Ball on Thursday.

“I think they should be vaccinated, he (Robinson) has had it twice himself who knows where he spread it to when he did have it.

“I think footballers are being given a lot of freedom in this particular situation. I think they’ve been privileged in some of the things that they can do because they’re footballers.

“I read the other day that some of the journalists weren’t allowed in (to the Ireland press conference) because they weren’t vaccinated.

“I think footballers have been too privileged in this situation.

“The point that I’d be upset about is that you can have the virus as a young lad and it could be just like the flu and you get over it,” he added.

“But what about the times that you spread it? I think in young Robinson’s case he’s had it twice, but there’s no record (of) did he spread it? And how many people did he spread it to?

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“It has been proven that vaccinations do help stop serious illness and death.

“I can’t understand it and I think in this case I think they’ve (footballers) been too privileged.

“They’ve created an awful lot of rules so that they can go on trips and continue to play and do various things that I don’t think people on the other end of it are being taken into consideration.

“I think it’s wrong, I think professional footballers are privileged, but when it comes to this they’ve been very loose in allowing certain things to happen.”

Giles spoke at the time of his relief to be vaccinated.

He told RTÉ’s Claire Byrne Live in December last year: “I’ve no concerns about it [the vaccine] at all.”

Asked about what life will be like after he’s been vaccinated, Giles added: "It's not just the getting out, which I find is a bonus, the main thing is I felt if I got this particular virus I'd be a goner.

"So it wasn't a case of getting out, it was hopefully to keep me alive with getting the vaccine.

"So hopefully I'll be able to get out without the fear of catching it. That was my big concern, still is at the moment. I've still got to get it (a second dose) done."

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