CFL to bar unvaccinated players from Grey Cup in Hamilton


Published October 19, 2021 at 10:53 pm

No vaccine passport, no play — and no pay.

The Canadian Football League, who is staging the Grey Cup in Hamilton on Dec. 12, has said unvaccinated players who cannot travel for December playoff games will not be allowed to compete and will not be paid. According to a report from TSN, the policy covers the league’s East and West division finals and championship game, which will take place after a federal travel policy goes into effect on Nov. 30.

The policy will require anyone travelling by plane or train to be fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated players driving to a road game was apparently ruled out due to liability concerns with road travel in wintry conditions.

The policy would not cover the division semifinal round, which is slated for Nov. 28. Players on home teams would apparently also be unaffected.

The CFL announced a vaccination policy in August. It said teams could be assigned a forfeit loss and players and staff would be docked pay if COVID-19 issues caused a game to be lost from the schedule, and it turned out that fewer than 85 per cent of the team was vaccinated.

The league has not lost any playing dates. The closest that it has come was when an Edmonton Elks-Toronto Argonauts game in August was postponed due to COVID-19 issues in the Eks’ ranks.

The game was moved to Nov. 16. West Division cellar-dwelling Edmonton will have to play two road games in four days during the final week of the season.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats (4-5) do face the possibility of travel in the playoffs. They are currently third in the East Division behind Toronto (6-3) and the Montreal Alouettes (5-4) with five games left in the regular season.

Hamilton hosts the Ottawa Redblacks (2-8) at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Tim Hortons Field.

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