Embattled tennis superstar Novak Djokovic should only have taken a Covid vaccine because he thought it would protect him, Swedish soccer legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic has argued.
Unvaccinated Djokovic found himself at the center of a diplomatic storm as the Australian government succeeded in his second attempt to cancel his visa after arriving for the Australian Open, believing he would be granted a waiver medical vaccination requirements.
The defending champion has been banned from Australia without being able to defend his title in Melbourne after the intervention of Immigration Minister Alex Hawke was controversially upheld by a court.
Former Manchester United and Inter Milan talisman Ibrahimovic believes Djokovic’s predicament is an example of the need for people not to be forced to get vaccinated for work.
It has been a hot topic in places like New York, where the city’s private sector employers are required to enforce a mandatory vaccination policy for workers in a country where President Joe Biden’s ruling administration has urged citizens repeatedly to get vaccinated.
“People shouldn’t have to get vaccinated just to get to work,” said Ibrahimovic, who was hailed by Djokovic as a symbol of the “Balkan mentality”. last year and an example of a veteran extending his career at the highest level, speaking to the Journal du Dimanche.
“Those who receive a vaccine do so because they believe in it, because they believe it is effective against the disease.
“Everyone has their opinion. I got vaccinated because I think the vaccine protects me, from not being able to play football. These are two different situations.”
Former Paris Saint-Germain striker Ibrahimovic was asked why PSG have yet to win the Champions League and gave his opinion on boss Mauricio Pochettino, who is in charge of a galaxy of stars including Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in attack.
“Coaching and managing such a talented team is not easy” he reasoned. “From what I see, PSG are doing what they have to do.
“Running the world is not done in twenty-four hours. It’s a marathon with ups and downs. Chelsea took [nine years to win the Champions League] after being bought out by Roman Abramovich.”
The AC Milan striker had a typically confident statement about a potential return to the Ligue 1 leaders, saying: “The day I want to be PSG’s sporting director, I will be.”