Thursday, May 22, 2014

Safety concerns at 2014 World Cup

By +Ian C

The Soccer World Cup is the biggest sporting event on planet Earth and is kicking off on June 12th, culminating on Sunday, July 13th. There are concerns, however, that host nation Brazil may not be ready to handle the event. With less than 3 weeks to the opening ceremony, there are still stadiums which are not fully completed to FIFA standards.

Brazil 2014 - World Cup Finals
Brazil 2014 or maybe 2015 at the speed they are going
FIFA do have a contingency plan in place, but nobody is going to like it. As a last resort they are prepared to move the location of the 2014 World Cup to Uruguay or Argentina, which will allow the games to go ahead, but will cause havoc to those with hotel reservations in Brazil.

However, the stadium shortage is not Brazil's biggest concern. Brazil, on the whole, is still a very poor nation with low levels of healthcare and hygiene and is rife with all manner of disease and illness. Some team managers are threatening to boycott the finals unless FIFA can take steps to ensure the safety of their players on and off the pitch.

Soccer Safety at the 2014 World Cup
Putting the Inflataball through it's paces
In response, the President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter, has announced an optional equipment enhancement to protect players from the dangers of infection on the field. Known as 'The Inflataball', this device protects the players from the majority of possible infections while allowing the player to perform at about 98% effectiveness compared to an unprotected player.

According to FIFA, the safety and welfare of the players off the pitch is the responsibility of the individual and their team management. Many teams have already published guidelines for their players regarding safe and responsible behavior while representing their teams. The common thread among these publications is, "Don't go sticking things into other things just because you are thousands of miles away from your wife/girlfriend."

That is actually sound advice whether you are a soccer player earning millions per year or Joe Sixpack making minimum wage and struggling to feed 4 kids.

Do you have any safety tips for the players at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil (or another South American country if it comes to that?) We need to hear from you if you do.

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