Saudi Arabia suspends vaccination rules due to the Spanish Super Cup

RIYADH: Sources said Saudi Arabia has waived full vaccination requirements against Covid-19 on visitors to allow soccer players to participate in the Spanish Super Cup on its soil. The Kingdom requires full vaccination to enter its territory, according to the rules posted on the site web of the government. Three sources told Reuters that authorities had granted exceptions after negotiations with the Spanish Football Association to allow players from Real Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao to play. in Saudi Arabia in the competition between 10 and 16 January. Today, Thursday, Brazil manager Tite announced that Atletico Madrid defender Renan Lodi would not be called up for the next two World Cup qualifiers because he had not received the vaccinations. complete. Lodi is currently in Saudi Arabia, as Atletico will face Athletic Bilbao in the semi-final of the Spanish Super Cup on Thursday. A source close to the player told Reuters that he received the first dose of the vaccination and is expected to receive the second dose on the 31st of this month. The source indicated that he had not received the vaccination earlier because he was infected with Covid-19. In Madrid, where Lodi resides, the period between vaccination and virus infection was six months until August 2021 and then reduced to one month. And in April 2020 the test of Lodi. “All the players and members of the delegation complied with the health and sports requirements required to enter the country (Saudi Arabia) and participate in the tournament, as happened in the rest of the competitions in which we participate”. A comment could not be obtained from the Saudi authorities. The Spanish Football Association declined to comment on Lodi’s position, or to indicate the presence of any player or team member who entered in Saudi Arabia and did not receive a full vaccination. And the Spanish Super Cup has moved in Saudi Arabia after an agreement that extends to 2029, according to which the Spanish Federation will receive 30 million euros (34 million dollars) per year. The attitude of athletes towards vaccination was put on in evidence before the Australian Open. Doubts have been raised about participation in the tournament of world number one Novak Djokovic, in how much the Australian government has not yet decided whether to cancel the Serbian player’s visa for the second time due to concerns about obtaining medical exemption from vaccination. Djokovic sparked indignation in Australia when he announced he would be heading to Melbourne after obtaining a medical exemption from visitor requirements. (Reuters)