For the “Bayern Insider” program on BILD TV (Sunday from 10 a.m.), BILD soccer boss Christian Falk (43) visited world champion Lukas Podolski (36) at his Polish club Gornik Zabrze.
Bild am Sonntag: Mr. Podolski, have you followed the discussion about Joshua Kimmich in Poland? He made it clear that he is not vaccinated and does not know if he will still do that. How do you see it
Lukas Podolski: In Germany the subject is like a felon has been caught. I think that’s a bit exaggerated, the whole discussion. And it doesn’t do Joshua justice either to pillory him for something like that.
You can see the complete interview on Sunday from 10 a.m. on “Bayern Insider” on BILD TV, the BILD TV channel!
You recently had Corona yourself. How did you feel during that time?
I already felt a little weak. Similar to the flu, which somehow does not feel good for a few days, is ailing. But I didn’t have a difficult course either. So I don’t know what a difficult course is. Because I didn’t have it, I can’t judge that, like the whole discussion. I can only speak for myself.
You were also not vaccinated when you became infected.
Yes, I wasn’t vaccinated. And now I am not allowed to be vaccinated for six months – if the laws do not change – until February or March. I am still considered recovered.
This means you don’t have to make a decision – unlike Kimmich. What do you do when the decision is made?
Everyone can decide for themselves what to do. I don’t understand why Joshua Kimmich is portrayed as a serious criminal, I don’t understand the discussion. There are also many clubs in the Bundesliga, I think, in which players are not vaccinated either.
It is said that ten percent of the players in the Bundesliga should not be vaccinated. At Bayern there are five, we know.
It’s just like this: Now you’ve found someone, everyone gets in touch. Every buffoon from politics or from researchers, doctors knows something and puts their mustard on it.
Would you think it would be good if other players who were not vaccinated came out and said: We won’t leave Kimmich alone.
I don’t know if you have to come out now. Again: I am of the opinion that everyone has to decide for themselves what to do. Of course, you will be informed by those responsible, the clubs, the doctors and will be given the information: What are the risks? What are the side effects? As Joshua Kimmich – or any other player – you have the right to say: I don’t want to be vaccinated yet.
Don’t you have that discussion in the league in Poland?
I’ve been here for a few months and there was no discussion. With us, players are not vaccinated either. I understand that this is a topic that has been on our mind for almost two years. There are people who have difficult courses. There are people who have died. This is not a question. But there are other diseases that people die from or where something happens.
At Kimmich there was the discussion because he is doing the WeKickCorona initiative. You have to say: This is mainly for people who help like carers, but there was also a donation for vaccines.
Well, that’s just a discussion, there is nothing you can do about it if you advertise a corona vaccine. If that’s true, I didn’t know that beforehand, then the questions arise. That’s just a hit for the media, only to say: You advertise a vaccine and then you don’t use it yourself. But again: he can decide for himself.
Kimmich is not alone, he also has teammates who think similarly. The club leaves it up to the players to be vaccinated.
I don’t understand the discussion that you want to force someone to have something injected into them. The pressure increases every day. Is he a different person when he gives himself the vaccine? Then everyone says: Kimmich, we’ll set you up at Marienplatz like at the championship, you helped the people here? That you ward off certain risks with a syringe and a vaccination and help people …
… and offers society more protection …
… clear! But Kimmich also said: We are tested everywhere in the clubs. That is also done.
That is Kimmich’s argument. He is in a test chain and is more controlled than others. Of course, he is in the luxury situation that he does not have to pay for the tests himself, the club does that.
There is no yes or no in the end – there will always be discussions on this subject of vaccination and vaccine. Recovered, not recovered. Where do you enter, where do you not enter. We will not be able to put the discussion aside in the months and years to come.