Canadian football club, CF Montreal have sold striker Erik Hurtado to Columbus Crew for refusing to get the Covid-19 vaccine.
According to Mail Online, the Canadian side recently completed the sale in return for the equivalent of about £150,000 in general allocation money, sealing the exit of a player who only signed in February, playing seven times and not at all since May 22.
According to the Athletic, sporting director Olivier Renard admitted that his refusal to get jabbed ruled out cross-border travel, was a key factor in the decision to let him go. To make that process go more smoothly, the club traded Erik Hurtado to the Columbus Crew SC for $200,000 after Hurtado declined the COVID-19 vaccine.
The team announced the deal, and the reason behind it, in a news release Thursday. Team sporting director Oliver Renard explained Hurtado being unvaccinated made his situation “problematic” if the team wanted to return to Montreal to play games.
“There was some interest in Erik during the past few weeks and we listened to the offers, even though we were satisfied with Erik’s work. Because he’s not vaccinated against COVID-19, his situation was problematic and we started considering a trade when we got the confirmation that the team could return to Montreal,” said CF Montreal sporting director Olivier Renard. “Before proceeding, Erik also confirmed that he was not comfortable taking the vaccine, so we concluded this deal, which we felt was very satisfactory. We would like to thank Erik for his professionalism and wish him good luck in his career.”
Hurtado, 30, signed with CF Montreal as a free agents in the offseason. He played seven games with the team, including two starts. He registered one assist with the team.
Prior to joining CF Montreal, Hurtado played for Vancouver and Kansas City. His best season came in 2014, when Hurtado scored 5 goals in 19 starts with Vancouver.