World Cup 2014: Which teams are allowed to have sex?

Researchers have found that sex is no physical detriment to athletic performance, but that hasn’t stopped the World Cup coaches taking sides

Forget the fantastic goals and put the comical cans of spray paint to the back of your mind. The real story coming from the Brazil World Cup is going on behind closed doors. It’s not yet another Fifa corruption claim, but which players are, er, scoring off the pitch.

LIVE: Follow the latest news as England play Uruguay, plus Colombia v Ivory Coast and Japan v Greece

More goals have been scored in the opening days of the competition that at any previous tournament, but the world’s media has been speculating breathlessly about another kind of scoring: which teams’ managers are, shall we say, restricting strenuous nocturnal stamina-training activities.

There are no hard and fast rules about whether players should be allowed to have sex during tournament periods, but some teams are being very firm about their sexually restrictive policies, while others are happy to let nature take its course.

We do know that the Italian team, which vanquished England on Saturday, were permitted to enjoy the company of their wives and girlfriends in Manaus the night before their 2-1 victory. Of course, the same was true of the England camp, though, so the Italians had no unfair advantage there.

 

As an aside, gullible fans can take cheer from a breathless Daily Star “exclusive” which “revealed” that England fans could now relax, as the arrival of “sexy” Coleen Rooney would “perk” up her husband Wayne’s performance on the pitch, after he fired “blanks” against Italy. That’s a victory against Uruguay sorted then, lads.

The Spanish and Germans are allowed to play away from the pitch throughout the four-week festival of football, but are forbidden from indulging the night before any game, so it’s unlikely that it was a night of passion with his wife Lisa that inspired striker Thomas Mueller to score a hat-trick on the pitch against Portugal.

Oddly, the Costa Ricans only have a restriction on sex until the second round of the tournament, while the more traditional Nigerians are only allowed to bed down with their wives, not their girlfriends. In contrast, the Brazilian and Mexican players have been told to fill their boots, as long as it’s not too acrobatic. One can only assume team coaches are pulling all-night shifts outside bedroom doors to enforce a missionary-only policy

Unsurprisingly, it’s the romance-friendly French who have perhaps the most trusting policy, allowing a sexual free-for-all as long as the frequency, type and timing of activities don’t get out of control. Apparently, the team’s former doctor says that sex is “relaxing” for the players, but there’s a stern warning that it shouldn’t become an all-night activity. Most scientists tend to agree with him, too, with numerous studies finding sex before sport has few, if any, ill effects on the players’ game.

The Bosnia and Herzegovina manager obviously hasn’t seen those studies, though, and he’s instigated a total sex ban. It’s the same story for the sex-deprived players of Russia and Chile, though the latter could potentially pop home between games for some forbidden passion. Perhaps they’ve taken inspiration from the ancient Greeks, who believed that preserving a man’s sperm was essential to creating the required aggression for public performance.

What footballers and elite athletes get up to at sporting competitions has ignited media feeding frenzies before. In 2006 the England camp was called a “circus” by Rio Ferdinand after manager Sven Goran Eriksson allowed celebrity wives and girlfriends such as Victoria Beckham and Cheryl Cole to accompany the squad. Four years later, Fabio Capello was much stricter in South Africa – not that it did much good on the pitch.

As for the elite stars themselves, most have (sensibly) stayed silent about the intimate details of their sexual exploits, but back in the 1990s Linford Christie, the British sprinter, famously said a romp the night before a race made his legs feel like lead. That wouldn’t do for a quarter-final clash.

George Best disagreed, arguing that sex the night before a big game wasn’t a problem. Wisely, he did draw the line at sex on a match day, though, saying that “I certainly never found it had any effect on my performance. Maybe best not the hour before, but the night before makes no odds.”  

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent