Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has said he will not 'start the hunt' against players who are not vaccinated against Covid-19, despite the recent rise in positive tests at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues were held to a 0-0 draw with Wolves on Sunday featuring a depleted squad and are now six points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
The Premier League released new statistics this week stating that, despite reports suggesting the figure was much lower, 84% of top flight players have received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Tuchel refused to put the blame for the recent spike in cases across the Premier League at the door of those who have not yet been vaccinated.
"I don’t want to get involved in pointing fingers and starting the hunt for non-vaccinated people," he said, via the Mail.
"This is a choice to make. I can have an opinion but a player can also have an opinion. We cannot force people to get vaccinated and I will not change my opinion on that. I am vaccinated. I took the decision for me and that’s it. I am not the guy to comment, I am not the expert here."
Chelsea face Brentford in the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup on Wednesday, and the Blues will be without seven first team players due to Covid-related issues. Andreas Christensen and Trevoh Chalobah are injury doubts and N'Golo Kante was rushed back to face Wolves and won't be involved.
"I would like to play us right now," Tuchel said. "We have to protect our players and their health. That is why we brought in the academy. It is no secret and we think about playing with them.
"We are fighting for every competition and I don’t like judging the importance of the game, because you can never tell what that does to you. But we are forced to do it and it makes me sad because that is not what sport is about, or what we are about."