The owner of Steaua Bucharest has said that he will ban vaccinated individuals from playing for the club.
Gigi Becali, a former Romanian MP and MEP, took a controlling stake in the 1986 European Cup winning club in 2003.
Expressing the belief that vaccinated players are “powerless”, Becali claimed that rivals CFR Cluj and Rapid Bucuresti are struggling because most of their squads are vaccinated.
CFR Cluj are currently eight points clear of Steaua.
“You’re going to laugh, but I might be right,” Becali opined, according to Romanian journalist Emanuel Rosu. “Those vaccinated lose their strength. That’s something scientific.
“Haven’t you seen it at CFR? With Rapid, the players seemed to be fainting. They slept on the ground. All vaccinated people lose their strength!
“I also see [my players struggling], the vaccinated ones. It doesn’t affect some, but it does affect those who are older. Haven’t you seen [CFR forward Ciprian] Deac? There is no more storm.”
About 40% of the Romanian population are fully vaccinated.
The official Romanian Facebook page for vaccine information said that there are “no studies that support” Becali’s claims.
It said: “Vaccinated footballers do NOT lose their strength after being vaccinated against COVID-19!
“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 these 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!”