West Brom boss will speak to Callum Robinson about Covid-19 vaccine

Valerien Ismael says it is important for everyone to be protected to protect others

Callum Robinson celebrates after scoring his first goal against Qatar on Tuesday. Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

West Brom manager Valerien Ismael says he will speak to Callum Robinson about his decision not to get a Covid-19 vaccine.

Robinson has returned to his club after a dream international break on the pitch with Ireland which saw him net five goals in two games against Azerbaijan and Qatar but off the pitch the 26-year-old caused quite a stir when he told the media last week that he is not vaccinated against Covid-19.

Robinson is one of nine or 10 Ireland players in the same boat but his speaking about it meant he garnered a lot of attention in the run-up to Stephen Kenny’s first competitive win as Ireland manager.

While Robinson did not go into his reasons for not getting vaccinated - he said it was his “personal choice” - he has been one of the players most affected by the virus after contracting it twice and missing a total of seven matches as a result of infections and close contact status.


Ismael says he will discuss the situation with the player but won’t be forcing him in to anything.

“The first thing to say is it’s a personal choice,” he said. “We can’t force anyone to take the vaccine and we need to respect the position of each person and not stigmatise him or make him look bad.

“He has the right to take his decision. The only thing I can say is that I am fully vaccinated and the club provided early this week vaccination possibility for the players so the majority of our players are vaccinated now.

“So we have a good feeling but we need to respect everyone.”

In a similar vein to Jurgen Klopp's recent comments about getting vaccinated and the struggles faced by many football clubs, Ismael believes there is a responsibility on everyone in order to protect others.

“When you are a public person and you work at a football team you need to make sure you protect yourself, protect your team-mates and protect your family because every day we are in contact with a lot of people. At the moment the only way we can protect ourselves is to get the vaccine. That’s my own thought on this.

“We need to protect team-mates, the squad so we can carry on with the schedule and the games and with the training sessions.

“We don’t need the training ground being shut down for two weeks, that could be massive for us. It’s just to make sure that everyone knows.”