Thomas Tuchel breaks silence on Chelsea’s Covid concerns ahead of Champions League clash

Thomas Tuchel has accepted that he could be missing “some key players” for March’s UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second-leg against Lille in France.

France has made its Covid rules stricter recently and there is now no exemption for unvaccinated professional athletes who are wanting to enter the country.

It is not public knowledge how many Chelsea players are unvaccinated at the moment. Whoever it is, though, as it stands, will not be allowed to take part in the match at Lille in around two months’ time.

UEFA released this statement recently: “The specific conditions under which matches are played in each country are subject to the decisions of the competent authorities in that country.

“Each team will in principle be required to comply with the applicable rules in the country where the match takes place, but the specific competition annexes – still under elaboration – which contain special rules due to Covid-19 applicable to the knockout phase, may provide further guidance in this regard.”

There is a similar situation with next month’s FIFA Club World Cup, with Abu Dhabi rules stating that any arrival from the UK for an unvaccinated person will require them to quarantine for a 10-day period.

A FIFA source told football.london that discussions are ongoing around the regulations and whether exemptions can be granted for athletes.

Now, Tuchel has admitted he is well aware of the situation and has already accepted that the Blues could be without some key players for the Champions League tie.

Tuchel said: “They are aware of it and at some point everybody who is not vaccinated will face some consequences. Does it make it wrong that they are not? I am not so sure about it.

“I simply don’t know. I took my decision for myself. The majority took the decision to get vaccinated. For us isolated as a football team there can be huge consequences if players are not allowed to travel to France and this can create problems for us.

“We may not be able to use key players but we are aware of it and it is a constant noise.”

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