• Football Federation Australia have announced vaccination rates for players and officials • Victoria state have sent polio testers in to gather samples
Victoria state premier Daniel Andrews has promised there will be no unvaccinated players at the Australian Open, despite FIFA having previously said it would not enforce vaccination rates on international matches.
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The Football Federation Australia announced it would vaccinate players and officials, including coaching staff and medical staff, as part of their new pedigreed player policy in July.
However the statement appeared to contradict some International Olympic Committee rulings, which lay out that players must be protected against acquired immunodeficiency diseases, including polio.
Polio was declared eradicated in most parts of the world in 1988, though it remains prevalent in Africa, Iran and Pakistan, with around 4,000 cases a year and just two deaths. It can cause paralysis, blindness and in some cases death.
When the Victorian state government first introduced the vaccination policy in 2014, they said it was the “first of its kind in the world”.
But on Tuesday the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews, stuck to his guns, saying he had been assured there would be no non-vaccinated players at next year’s tournament in Melbourne.
“As the premier of this state we’ve been assured by the FFA that they are going to have no non-vaccinated players at the Australian Open,” he told ABC radio.
“There’s no element of coincidence, I know that’s a choice the FFA and Victorian government made.
“We made the decision to make sure that … and it’s a very positive action on the part of the Australian Open.”
Medical professionals have said they are yet to witness an outbreak of polio anywhere in the world since 2000, but Andrews has declared any non-vaccinated player a risk.
No unvaccinated players were reported to have contracted polio at last month’s ATP World Tour Finals in London.