The Union of European Football Associations UEFA on Thursday warned that teams like Chelsea and Real Madrid must “in principle” comply with France’s new vaccine passport when the Champions League knockout rounds start next month.
Government sources on Monday told AFP that all athletes who wish to enter sporting stadia and compete in France will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
That has put a major question mark over Novak Djokovic’s participation in the French Open, after the world No 1’s deportation from Australia over his non-vaccination status.
And it suggests that European titleholders Chelsea must leave any non-vaccinated players behind when they face Lille on 16 March in the last 16, and Real Madrid, who are at Paris Saint-Germain on 15 February.
“UEFA is liaising with the relevant stakeholders across Europe ahead of the resumption of UEFA’s club competitions in February,” European football’s governing body said in a statement.
“The specific conditions under which matches are played in each country are subject to the decisions of the competent authorities in that country.
“Each team will in principle be required to comply with the applicable rules in the country where the match takes place.
The statement went on to note that “the specific competition Annexes – still under elaboration – which contain special rules due to Covid-19 applicable to the knockout phase, may provide further guidance in this regard.
Another club concerned by the French government’s attempt to curb transmission of the virus are FK Qarabag.
The Azerbaijani side are at Marseille on 17 February on Europa Conference League duty.
In England, the Premier League indicated last month that 16 per cent of players had not received even their first jab.
Teams must respect France’s vaccine passport – UEFA