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Kanté, Loftus-Cheek Omitted From Chelsea’s U.S. Tour For Not Being Vaccinated

Chelsea midfielders N'Golo Kanté and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will not feature in the club's preseason tour to the United States due to their COVID-19 vaccination status, the Premier League side said on Saturday.

Entry rules for the U.S. say that all visitors over 18, barring American citizens and other limited exceptions, must be double vaccinated against the virus.

It was unclear whether the two players were unvaccinated or had received only one dose.

"N'Golo Kanté and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will not travel due to their Covid vaccination status," Chelsea said in a statement.

American Christian Pulisic, who has said he is vaccinated, is on the squad.

Loftus-Cheek tested positive for COVID-19 in August last year while France international Kanté returned a positive test ahead of a Champions League group game against Juventus the following month.

Manager Thomas Tuchel said at the time that did not know how many of his players had been vaccinated and although he had taken the jab, he would not force others to do so.

Left back Ben Chilwell and winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, who both missed large chunks of last season through injury, were included in the 29-man squad that will play three games in the U.S starting with Club America on July 16. Chelsea will also play Charlotte FC and Arsenal.

Chelsea, who finished third in the league last season, kick off the new campaign with a trip to Everton on Aug. 6.

(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Fallon)

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