According to The Times chief sports reporter Martyn Ziegler, there are talks for Covid tests at World Cup 2022 in Qatar as part of a draft new health protocol.
New draft health protocol in Qatar will allow players to be tested at World Cup rather than mandatory Covid vaccinations: https://t.co/hJXaIq3SRr
— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) October 5, 2021
Covid Tests at World Cup 2022 Under Draft Health Protocol
Mandatory Vaccination Rule to Be Scrapped
Players competing in the 2022 World Cup in Winter 2022 may not now be required to have been fully vaccinated as talks continue with FIFA and the Qatari authorities about scrapping those rules.
A planned new health protocol would allow for players, fans and officials to take tests as opposed to having to provide proof that they have already been vaccinated. Qatar had previously said that it could look to ban players who have not been fully vaccinated from the tournament but now that stance looks to be softening.
The Qatari authorities had said in an earlier statement as quoted by The Athletic: “In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Qatar, as the host country, will provide the safeguards required to protect the health and safety of all involved in the competition. All attendees must follow the travel advice from the Qatari authorities and the latest guidance from the Ministry of Public Health.”
Bold Move to Reduce Potential Disruption
Despite covid cases still rising in several parts of the world, the vaccination programme has eased some fears over international travel and it now seems that the Qatari authorities are keen for there to be as little disruption as possible when it comes to players and fans arriving in the country ahead of the showpiece tournament.
Concerns were made by FIFA that there could be a situation where the world’s biggest football competition could take place without some of its star players and potentially devalue the competition.
The new protocols are currently at the draft stage with FIFA and Qatar continuing to negotiate the finer details which will be announced once agreement can be reached.
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