The official government information resource for the coronavirus vaccine in Romania responded after the controversial claims by the FCSB owner

The owner of Romanian side FCSB, Gigi Becali, is facing a backlash after claiming that players who receive a vaccination from Covid-19 lose their strength, suggesting he would ban them from playing.

Despite Becali later insisting that he was joking, there was an angry response from RO Vaccinare, the official government information resource for the coronavirus vaccine in the country, while FCSB have also released a statement to play down their owners claims.

Becali told Pro X: “Youre going to laugh, but I might be right. Those vaccinated lose their strength. Thats something scientific. All vaccinated people lose their strength!

“I also see my players, the vaccinated ones. It doesnt affect some, but it does affect those who are older. Havent you seen [Ciprian] Deac? There is no more storm.”

The outspoken owner would later claim that he was joking and responded to criticisms from journalist Grigore Cartianu: “Tell Mr. Cartianu that Im joking. Let me tell you the truth now.

“[Valentin] Cretu is vaccinated, [Florin] Tanase is vaccinated, [Paulo] Vinicius is vaccinated. Three, right? Valentin Gheorghe, four… I have nothing to do with them. Im not interested.”

The Facebook page for RO Vaccinare wrote in a public post, reacting to Becalis statements: “Vaccinated footballers do NOT lose their strength after being vaccinated against Covid-19!

“Sports proof: Four teams from the Premier League are in the eighth round of the Champions League, where Romania, unfortunately, has no team.

“As we presented to you on December 21, 2021, 77% of Premier League players were vaccinated against Covid-19, and 84% were vaccinated with the first dose. In the same league, two teams were vaccinated 100% with a complete schedule.

“It is worth mentioning that two teams, Manchester City and Liverpool, won the first leg of their Champions League ties 5-0 and 2-0 respectively.

“From a medical and scientific point of view, there are no studies that would support a singularity like the one recently promoted on Facebook accounts in Romania.

“Vaccination against Covid-19 does not affect the performance of football players. In contrast, there are enough studies showing that going through SARS CoV-2 infection leaves long-term sequelae (Long Covid), and this can influence athletes performance.

“The bottom line is simple: to stay healthy, to enjoy football, to look at those who trust science and medicine. Please inform yourself ONLY from credible, official sources!”

RO Vaccinare also included quotes from Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp urging people to be vaccinated as part of their response.

In a statement issued to Reuters, FCSB confirmed: “It is not true that vaccinated players will not play.

“There are more than a dozen vaccinated players in our squad.”

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