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.”  

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments