Sex and the Athlete: Elimination of All Soccer Teams in World Cup 2014 that Forbade Sex Raises More Question If Sex & Sports Mix

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By Vittorio Hernandez | July 3, 2014 9:28 AM EST

The long-held belief in the athletic world that sportsmen should abstain from sex during completion appears to have been proven false, based on the performance of the teams that are participating in the ongoing World Cup 2014 games in Brazil.

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England's Wayne Rooney (L) and Italy's Giorgio Chiellini fight for the ball during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Amazonia arena in Manaus June 14, 2014.

On one hand, the four teams that banned their players from having sex during the competition - Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Chile and Mexico - have been eliminated and no longer qualify for the championship, observed Time. But at the same time, other teams such as Italy, Spain, Switzerland and England that allowed their team members to enjoy sex before the games were also eliminated.

However, teams with conditions attached to sex yielded mixed results. Still in the running for the championship trophy are Brazil which allows intimacy, except acrobatic sex, Costa Rica which allowed sex during the first round but banned it in the second round and France which only banned all-night sex. But Nigeria, which permits players to have sex with their wives but not girlfriends, has also been eliminated.

But overall results indicate that "Much of whatever coaches think they know about the relationship between sexual release and athletic performance, however, is myth," wrote The Guardian's Terri Fisher who is a sex researcher.

She pushed for funding and more support to secure more and better empirical research on sexuality, noting the absence of research-based evidence that sexual activity is harmful to athletic performance.

Fisher concluded that "Ultimately, it matters little whether players can engage in sex during the World Cup - or hook up all over the Olympic village - but the motley mixture of rules provides a microcosm of what can happen in the absence of solid data. When myths and stereotypes are more influential than research findings."

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Meanwhile, sex during international games is not just between the players and their partners, but also between tourists and local sex worker which the Brazilian government also has to tackle.

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(Photo: REUTERS/ / Siphiwe Sibeko)
England's Wayne Rooney (L) and Italy's Giorgio Chiellini fight for the ball during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Amazonia arena in Manaus June 14, 2014.
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