With case numbers once again rising in Germany, Bayern Munich are under the spotlight as the club deals with an unnamed group of unvaccinated stars. Apart from Joshua Kimmich, up to four other players reportedly remain unvaccinated, which is apparently a source of worry for both the coach and the team executives.
Speaking to the media, club CEO Oliver Kahn provided a clear reminder on Bayern’s official stance. “It is our absolute belief that our players have to be vaccinated,” said the 52-year-old on ARD (via Abendzeitung). The message is not only a public statement of Bayern’s confidence in the vaccine, but serves as a clear signal to the team’s unvaccinated stars.
While Bayern have yet to introduce any kind of mandatory vaccination policy, Kahn says that “the players are now very, very worried.”
“The consequences are not insignificant,” he added. “Firstly, the consequences for the player himself who is not vaccinated if he is infected. But also those consequences for the club that he may have to bear.” These consequences were on full show as a large number of German national team players were forced to go into quarantine after coming into close contact with Niklas Sule when the big defender tested positive.
Bayern were lucky that this incident happened before an international break, rather than a Champions League semi-final. The consequences for the team could have been dire. However, the fact remains that as long as these players are unvaccinated, the chances of them missing key games remains ever-present. While many of the isolated players have now returned to training, this fact will weigh heavily on coach Julian Nagelsmann.
Up until now, both Bayern and the DFB have been reluctant to issue a vaccine mandate for footballers at the club, preferring to pass the ball to politicians. However, with case numbers in Germany steadily rising, the vaccination issue is soon becoming an albatross that will need to be dealt with.
FYI, we happen to have a podcast on all things Bayern Munich, and in the latest episode we discussed the vaccine issue specifically, including a lot of the points that Kahn brought up. Why not give it a go?
As always, thanks for listening!