World Cup sex abstainers get knocked out
TOM DECENT AND MICHAEL KOZIOL
Every team at this year's World Cup known to be abstaining from sex have failed to make it past the round of 16, dispelling the long-held theory that sex before football is a hindrance to performance.
The four teams that completely banned their players from having sex during the World Cup - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile, Mexico and Russia - have all been eliminated.
Six of the eight teams remaining in the World Cup have not specifically asked their players to abstain from sex, but have put in place specific guidelines regarding the duration and positions players can experiment with while they're in Brazil.
The other two squads, Argentina and Columbia, have not gone public with their sex policies.
There is an argument the four teams who weren't allowed to engage in a bit of hanky-panky wouldn't have qualified anyway, but the fact of the matter is teams with lax sexual sanctions have progressed further than their conservative opponents.
For many teams, the issue of sexual intercourse during the World Cup isn't a black and white issue.
Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari has allowed his men to go for their life, but they can't engage in acrobatic sex.
Nigeria permits players to have sex; but only with their wives, not their girlfriends.
France, who beat Nigeria 2-0 in the round of 16, have been told they need to save their energy and should do the deed quickly, rather than spend all night making love.
Germany, who are only forbidden from having sex the night before a game, orchestrated a come from behind victory over Algeria, while Costa Rica's progression through to the last eight could be put down to the fact their sex ban was lifted the night before their clash with Greece in the round of 16.
Australian coach Ange Postegolou made it clear pre-tournament there were more important things on his plate than to worry about his players' sexual endeavours.
Meanwhile, Professor David Bishop, from the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living at Victoria University, Australia, wrote in The Conversation there has been very little scientific effort to investigate the link.
Four of the studies he looked at "all have concluded that there is no detrimental or beneficial effect of sexual activity before competition on subsequent athletic performance".
Some have argued that sex deprives athletes of energy and ejaculation saps the body of testosterone.
But in reality, sexual intercourse does not burn much energy and many studies suggest ejaculation helps keep testosterone production high - probably a good thing for sporting performance.
If there are risks from pre-match fornication, they are likely to be separate to the act itself - staying up all night at bars and using drugs or alcohol.
- Sydney Morning Herald
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