World Cup 2022: Unvaccinated players and fans could still be allowed to attend Qatar

Players and fans who are not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 could still be allowed to attend the Qatar World Cup next year.

It had been reported that unvaccinated players would not be allowed to take part in the tournament, but the PA news agency understands alternative forms of certification are being looked at for spectators, officials and players in meetings between FIFA and the national health authorities.

These include providing proof of having recovered from the virus, or evidence of negative tests.

No decisions have yet been taken, with the global situation regarding Covid being closely monitored. It would be likely, however, that unvaccinated visitors would need to provide proof of a recent negative test to enter a stadium, while vaccinated fans may only be required to test during their stay if they were symptomatic.

All fans were required to test negative before attending matches at the Club World Cup in Qatar earlier this year.

No decision has yet been taken regarding the frequency of testing for players once in Qatar for the World Cup.

A Fifa spokesperson said: “In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and as was the case for the Fifa Club World Cup Qatar 2020 and the Fifa Arab Cup Qatar 2021 qualifiers held in June 2021, 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. Full information on Covid-19 safety measures will be communicated to all client groups as we approach the competition.”

Fifa said in a statement issued on Sunday night: “We encourage Covid-19 vaccinations and endorse the World Health Organization’s position: safe, fair, and equitable access is critical in all countries. Players should not receive priority access to vaccines.”

The Supreme Committee for the Delivery and Legacy of Qatar 2022 declined to comment.

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