Vaccines and other selection dilemmas

We will tell our grandchildren that the 2021 Eurocup was lost because Nacho was not summoned or because of Pedro Sánchez, depending, of course, on our ideology: the former from the right, the latter from a broader spectrum. So far everything normal. This is a country of opposing contrasts and loyalties, always ready to defend what is ours above the common good and, especially, if we put football and politics in the same equation. The variable, in this case, arises with the positive for covid-19 of Sergio Busquets, in charge of reminding us by the fury that the virus is still out there, lurking, and that our hosts were willing to fight without anticipation of being vaccinated, like others so many national teams. But no one raised their voices – nor was there a debate about this – until the Catalan midfielder’s PCR alerted us to a sweet piece of adrift meat.

Only the pig is more profitable in Spain than in a situation like this. On the one hand, the controversy over the call is resumed. The new additions who aspire to replace the infected do not convince the critics with the original list of the selector, it would only be missing. The aforementioned Nacho, Sergio Ramos, Iago Aspas and Jesús Navas, unexpected favorites from a sector that would miss four others if they were part of the game, still do not appear: in national fights, as in amateur competitions, the important thing is always is to participate.

Then there is the issue of whether or not it is mandatory to vaccinate those who are going to represent us as a country in an event of such magnitude, a thorny issue like few others and that would have been solved if the organizer of the tournament, that vampiric UEFA based in Switzerland, had taken action on the matter. It is your beach bar, after all, and from a point of view of pure sports justice you should ensure that all participants attend the event under equal conditions and opportunities. If Dorna – with the collaboration of Qatar, by the way – took care of vaccinating the entire paddock of MotoGP, or if the IOC was able to convince governments of all kinds and types of the need to immunize the different Olympic expeditions on the way to Tokyo, why shouldn’t UEFA be able to do something similar, or at least try it? At this point I have several theories, all of them susceptible to being denounced for undermining the honor or good name of a few involved.

Those who play in favor of vaccination allude to the collective happiness of the people, a motivation that, at the moment of truth, is not quite like that either: here, let’s not fool ourselves, there is a lot of cainita that all they want is to dismember everything to the first draw without any kind of excuse being able to mediate, a cause as just and noble as any other, but always from the utmost sincerity, without emotional subterfuges such as the smile of a child or the heartbeat of a nation. Those who are against – and among them – will argue the situation of so many compatriots, many of them friends or acquaintances, with chronic diseases and in clear risk situations who have not yet agreed to the vaccine, beyond other complex moral dilemmas. Who is right? I sure don’t. Neither have you, who has trusted the failure of the national team to the absence of the central quarter of Real Madrid and an always advantageous statistical model.

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