SHARE
COPY LINK

SPORT

Germany’s Bayern Munich penalises unvaccinated players as five in quarantine

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have docked the wages of unvaccinated players like star midfielder Joshua Kimmich who, along with four unimmunised teammates, is in quarantine over contact with Covid-infected individuals, Bild am Sonntag reported.

Bayern Munich's midfielder Joshua Kimmich reacts during the German first division Bundesliga football match between FC Bayern Munich vs SC Freiburg in Munich
Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich, pictured, is just one of the German club's unvaccinated players in quarantine without pay at the moment. Christof STACHE / AFP

Hours after reports emerged that the club was docking the pay of unvaccinated players put in quarantine, Bayern said Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Michael Cuisance also had to be isolated over contact with an individual who tested positive.

The news is an unwelcome distraction, two days before Tuesday’s Champions League tie at Dynamo Kiev with Bayern already through to the last 16.

All besides Cuisance had only just completed a first round of house isolation on Tuesday as they had contact with Bayern team-mate Niklas Suele, who tested positive last week.

The latest quarantine order risks inflaming an already heated debate over whether sports personalities should be required to take the jab as Germany ails under a vicious fourth wave.

Kimmich, 26, had drawn sharp criticism since revealing he opted not to be vaccinated due to “personal concerns”.

Bayern bosses reportedly summoned him and his four unvaccinated teammates on Thursday to inform them of the pay cut when they are in isolation because they have not taken the jab, Bild said on Sunday, quoting unnamed sources from the team.

READ MORE: 2G and 2G plus: Germany to tighten restrictions on the unvaccinated

Bayern have declined to comment.

Under new rules taking effect from November 1st, employees who miss work because of a quarantine are no longer entitled to receive compensation if they are unvaccinated.

For Kimmich, whose annual pay reaches 20 million euros ($23 million), a week’s quarantine means earning losses of about 384,000 euros.

His absence has left his club struggling. On Friday, the Bundesliga leaders crashed to a shock 2-1 defeat at Augsburg.

‘A sign’
Former Bayern boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told broadcaster Sky that if the wage cuts are confirmed, they “should be understood as a sign that the club is now reacting. Because it must react.”

Germany’s failure to shake off the pandemic has deep financial consequences for Bayern, he said.

Latest curbs imposed to tame the infections surge mean the club can only host one in four spectators at its stadium.

“That’s of course also a big loss for FC Bayern,” said Rummenigge.

Germany is battling a renewed surge of the virus with infection numbers hitting new records this week.

A relatively low vaccination rate — hovering under 70 percent — has left the country vulnerable.

READ ALSO: How Germany’s booster jab campaign compares to other countries

German leaders this week decided new curbs to spur those holding out against the jab to change their minds.

Those not immunised will have to provide negative tests to use public transport or go to the office.

They will also be shut out of restaurants, sporting events and cultural shows in regions where the hospitalisation rate stands at above three patients per 100,000 over the past seven days.

The national average reached 5.5 on Sunday.

In the worst-hit zones, regional leaders have imposed partial shutdowns.

The state of Saxony has ordered all sporting and cultural venues shut, banned tourism and public consumption of alcohol.

Christmas markets, which were due to open on Monday, have been cancelled across Saxony and Bavaria.

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: Germany finalises new Covid restrictions for winter

Member comments

  1. “His absence has left his club struggling”…please leave sports analysis to the experts. all blame nagelsmann lineup, subs and set plays as the reason they lost, not kimmich. you can blame him for not getting vaccinated but not for the loss.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

COVID-19

Munich sees sharp rise in Covid cases after Oktoberfest

Since the start of Germany’s Oktoberfest, the incidence of Covid infections in Munich has risen sharply. Though a connection with the festival can’t yet be proven, it seems likely.

Munich sees sharp rise in Covid cases after Oktoberfest

Two weeks after the start of Oktoberfest, the Covid numbers in Munich have more than tripled.

On Sunday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported an incidence of 768.7 for the city of Munich, though updated figures for the end of the festival are not expected until later in the week. Usually, on weekends and public holidays, there is a delay in reports.

In the entire state of Bavaria, the incidence value on Sunday was 692.5.

According to Munich’s public health officer, Beatrix Zurek, bed occupancy in Munich hospitals has also increased. Two weeks ago, 200 beds in Munich were occupied by Covid patients, whereas there are now around 350.

Though a relationship between the sharp rise in infections with Oktoberfest, which ended on Monday, can’t be proven at the moment, it seems very likely, according to experts. A significant increase in Covid incidences has also been shown at other public festivals – about one and a half weeks after the start. 

READ ALSO: Germany’s famed Oktoberfest opens after two-year pandemic hiatus

After a two-year break due to the pandemic, around 5.7 million visitors came to this year’s Wiesn according to the festival management – around 600,000 fewer than at the last Oktoberfest before the pandemic in 2019, when there were 6.3 million.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) took to Twitter to comment on the rise in incidence in Munich during the Oktoberfest. “This would not have been necessary if self-tests had been taken before admission,” he said.

“Compared to the price of a measure of beer, €2-3 (for tests) wouldn’t have mattered,” he said.

Even before the start of the Wiesn, he had spoken out in favour of people taking voluntary self-tests. Lauterbach stressed that now is the time for special measures against Covid.

“The development shows what will happen if the states wait too long with the mask obligation in indoor areas,” he added.

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: Germany’s new Covid-19 rules from October

In neighbouring counties, where many Oktoberfest visitors came from, the number of Covid cases has also risen noticeably.  Beatrix Zurek said that it is unclear, however, how much of a role Oktoberfest played in these figures, as people are currently much more active socially overall, with concerts and other events also taking place throughout the state.

Christoph Spinner, an infections specialist at Munich’s Klinikum, has urged people not to be alarmed by the rising numbers.

“We had expected rising incidences here. We knew that there could be a doubling, tripling, even quadrupling,” he said.

He said that this is no cause for concern, as many people have been vaccinated or have also recovered from previous Covid infections, so any new infections are therefore usually mild.

The virologist advises people over 60 or with pre-existing conditions to get a second booster vaccination, but otherwise said people shouldn’t be alarmed by the rising incidences.

SHOW COMMENTS