Blow to Chelsea as Unvaccinated Players Unavailable to Face Lille in Champions League

Blow to Chelsea as Unvaccinated Players Unavailable to Face Lille in Champions League

Rene Otinga
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:55 PM
  • Chelsea still has some unvaccinated players in the squad and they will be rendered ineligible to play against Lille in the Champions League in March
  • The Blues have a return leg in France against the defending French Ligue 1 champions in France on march 13
  • But France has strict COVID-19 regulations and unvaccinated players will not be allowed into the country under any circumstances

Chelsea could play their Champions League round of 16 tie against Lille without a number of their key players after Uefa updated their COVID-19 rules.

The Blues host Lille for the first leg on February 22, while the return leg is scheduled to be played in France on March 16.

But the reverse fixture faces some uncertainty, especially among the Chelsea squad, as France does not allow unvaccinated players into the country.

Chelsea's unvaccinated players look set to miss next month's Champions League tie at French club Lille after Uefa updated its Covid-19 rules. Photo: Getty.
Source: Getty Images

Chelsea players are currently in Abu Dhabi for the club World Cup and the club has not disclosed the number of players that remain unvaccinated.

The Blues could attempt to apply for a special exemption for their unvaccinated players via the English Football Association, but it is highly unlikely it will be granted.

Previously, there was the option to have the return leg moved to a different venue but after the updated UEFA rules, that is also not an option.

Tuchel’s take on unvaccinated players

Previously, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has been quoted sounding a warning to players within his squad that were yet to get the COVID-19 jab.

"At some point, everybody who is not vaccinated will face some consequences,” Tuchel, who is currently isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 said as quoted by BBC.
"If players are not allowed to travel to France, this can create problems for us in not being able to use key players."

The Premier League released a statement in early February saying at least 80% of players in the top flight have been double vaccinated.

Blues into the final of Club World Cup

Meanwhile, Sports Brief reported of Chelsea’s recent triumph in the Club World Cup, a 1-0 win over Al Hilal that helped set up a tie in the final against Palmeiras.

Romelu Lukaku scored the only goal of the game as Kepa Arizabalaga kept another clean sheet in the absence of Edouard Mendy.

Chelsea now have the chance to win the competition for the first time in their history after coming close a decade ago.

Rene Otinga photo
Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and