Arsenal star Granit Xhaka branded ‘negligent’ for refusing Covid-19 vaccine

Arteta warns fans Arsenal project will 'take some time'

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Arsenal star Granit Xhaka has been blasted for being ‘negligent’ after the unvaccinated star tested positive for Coronavirus. The Switzerland FA head of communications Adrian Arnold confirmed the midfielder’s positive test on the same day they advised all players to take the vaccine.

“Granit Xhaka was not vaccinated. He’s a player who isn’t vaccinated,” said Arnold.

“We left this up to each player, it’s a personal decision of each player – just like any other person in Switzerland.

“We have issued a recommendation that everyone vaccinates.

But he decided for himself personally. And it is also his right not to be vaccinated.”

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Arnold also added that none of Xhaka’s international team mates are likely to be in any danger, despite his positive test.

“All the other players in the team have been vaccinated or have recovered [from Covid] – so they are more or less safe, at least from a medical point of view,” Arnold added.

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“One is never quite sure. Accordingly, we have a very high vaccination rate. Now, unfortunately, Granit got caught.

“From a sporting point of view, it is a shame for us at this important moment.”

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But Andreas Boni, editor of Swiss outlet Blick, has not been as understanding; blasting the 28-year-old for being ‘negligent”.

He said: “You travel a lot, on planes, on buses, and you are constantly on the move with different groups of people.

“And if you get caught, an entire team is threatened with quarantine, which endangers the game.

“Basically, it is negligent not to be vaccinated as a professional footballer.”

It confounds a week to forget for the Swiss midfielder. 

He infuriated Arsenal fans after a reckless tackle in the first-half on Manchester City’s Joao Cancelo resulted in a straight red card for the midfielder. 

The Gunners went on to be blown away by the Premier League champions 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium.

Xhaka has become the latest Arsenal player after Ben White, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, and Alexandre Lacazette to have tested positive for the virus.

Fortunately for the Gunners, his red card means he will be banned for three games anyway; therefore, it is unlikely the test will see him miss any matches.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta also recently said the club have always encouraged players to take the vaccine.

“We are trying to encourage them to get vaccinated because they are going to protect themselves, their families, obviously the environment around the club” he said. 

“But it is a personal matter, and we are trying to guide them and explain the reasons why it is better to do it.

“It is not about protecting ourselves; it is about protecting the people around us as well. I think it is a gesture of generosity.”

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