The owner of Romanian side Steaua Bucharest has announced that the club will ban all players vaccinated against Covid-19 from playing for them.
Mr. Gigi Becali, a Romanian businessman and politician said he is not allowing vaccinated players to play anymore because they are ‘powerless’.
According to him, people who are vaccinated against the virus die in hospitals, as opposed to those who have refused the jabs.
He also claimed players at Romanian rivals CFR Cluj and Rapid Bucuresti were struggling as a result of taking the vaccine, singling out 36-year-old winger Ciprian Deac.
‘You’re going to laugh, but I might be right. Those vaccinated lose their strength. That’s something scientific,’ he said according to Romanian journalist Emanuel Rosu.
‘Haven’t you seen it at CFR? With Rapid, the players seemed to be fainting. They slept on the ground. All vaccinated people lose their strength!
‘I also see mine, the vaccinated ones. It doesn’t affect some, but it does affect those who are older. Haven’t you seen [Ciprian] Deac? There is no more storm.’
The same journalist also said Becali suggests he only allowed players who faked getting vaccinated to play, though this information remains unconfirmed.
Becali also recently said Steaua Bucharest striker Claudiu Keseru – who returned to the club in August after six years at Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets – can no longer play at a high level because he was vaccinated.
‘I gave him the money, I had a contract with him, he was a football player, I was the owner,’ Becali said via sport.ro about Keseru’s return.
‘I said, ”You can’t go to this level anymore. You can play in Romania, but not at FCSB (Steaua Bucharest) and CFR!”.
‘He said he would show me, but he has nothing to show me. It can’t be at this level anymore. It’s possible because of the vaccine. I say what I think. I don’t want to offend him.’
But his latest statement has drawn a furious reaction from the country’s government.
In a statement, RO Vaccinare, the official Facebook page of the government’s national information platform on vaccination said: ‘Vaccinated footballers do NOT lose their strength after being vaccinated against COVID-19!
‘From a medical and scientific point of view, there are no studies that would support a singularity like the one recently promoted on Facebook accounts in Romania.
‘Vaccination against COVID-19 does not affect the performance of football players. In contrast, there are enough studies showing that going through SARS CoV-2 infection leaves long-term sequelae (Long COVID), and these can influence athletes’ performance.
‘The bottom line is simple: to stay healthy, to enjoy football, to look at those who trust science and medicine. Please inform yourself ONLY from credible, official sources!’
Journalist Grigore Cartianu meanwhile added via sport.ro: ‘From my point of view, if I were to make a top 10 of the stupid and vile statements of the century – I’m not saying that man is like that, but the statements… the statement is stupid, incorrect, miserable and discriminatory.’
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