AS Roma Defender Chris Smalling Finally Agrees to Take Covid-19 Jab

England defender Chris Smalling has reportedly reached an arrangement with his club AS Roma to get vaccinated in order to comply with new Italian laws requiring all top-flight footballers to have at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Daily Mail, citing Italian newspapers The Republic and FootballItalia, reported that Smalling is one of only around ten players in the Serie A league to not receive a first jab. However, head coach Jose Mourinho has assured that all of his Roma players would get vaccinated.

He said, “Rules are rules, the law is the law, and the moment the Italian Government makes a decision on a vaccine mandate, then it has to be respected.”

“If a player could go without, we respected that, but if it’s the law then we want the players to respect the law so they can do their job and play football. I don’t think there will be any problems.”

The dramatic surge in positive test results throughout the world, fueled by the ultra-transmissible Omicron variant, has increased the pressure on anybody intending to participate in outdoor team sports. As part of the urgent modifications to its coronavirus regulations, Italy has made vaccination mandatory. As a result, footballers will require a ‘Green Pass’ to continue playing on the pitch beginning January 10. The certificate is issued 15 days after a person has been vaccinated for the first time.

Chris Smalling’s wife Sam Smalling has shared several posts on social media expressing her concerns over Covid vaccination and Italy’s strict new regulations. She has publicly expressed her opinions on vaccines, posting videos of well-known vaccine skeptics on her Instagram. She seems to be arguing for freedom of choice whilst taking a clear dig at the mandated vaccines required to go to Italy. The new rules bar unvaccinated people from participating in a variety of activities including entering swimming pools, festivals, religious institutions, hotels, and public transportation.

The ex-Manchester United defender was put in a position where he had to either modify his opinion or risk being barred from participating in the games. Further, the club was recently hit by three fresh positive Covid-19 cases, but the identities of the people have not been revealed for privacy reasons.

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