Might this be the World Cup won in the bedroom? All of the nations that imposed outright pre-tournament sex bans have already been knocked out.
Chile and Mexico both departed in the last-16, despite knocking nookie on the head during their Brazil stay.
The sex-starved Russians didn’t make it out of their group, while there may be some relief that Bosnia and Herzegovina hands won’t be lifting the trophy after manager Safet Susic’s pre-tournament dictat: “There will be no sex in Brazil. They can find another solution. They can masturbate if they want.”
Nigeria, too, are out, after coach Stephen Keshi ruled players could sleep with their wives, but not girlfriends.
The everything-in-moderation camp is doing rather better. Phil Scolari conceded that “normal sex done in a balanced way” was acceptable, though he did slap a ban on “acrobatics” and promised to “put limits and survey the players” during the competition.
The results of those surveys haven’t been made available yet, but Brazil march on.
Didier Deschamps also pleaded for moderation, but didn’t want to upset fragile French morale by “cutting off players from the outside world”. Surely no coincidence that the lovers aren’t fighting this time round.
It may, however, be a little early to make a definitive judgement on the long-disputed debate about sex hindering athletic performance, as two nations complicate the findings.
Costa Rica coach Jorge Luis Pinto was keen his players slept soundly through the group phase, but was ready to withdraw the leash in the past week. “I can assure, with no doubts, they will be able to ‘enjoy themselves’ just as soon as they qualify for the next round,” said Pinto, before the first game, Just as his side tend to score late in matches, Marc Wilmots, the Belgian coach, also imposed a partial abstinence order through the early weeks of the competition.
A quarter-final exit for both, after bans have been lifted, and Russia 2018 might just be a long, lonely summer for a few more sides.
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