Don’t worry – unlike an earlier exclusive, this article does not involve drugs.
It does, however, involve high altitudes (high enough to make it hard for you to breath), football, politics and a healthy dose of good writing.
It’s a light piece and takes the political perspective on the issue, but nevertheless is a good read and makes one very good point.
The core issue at hand is that Bolivia and Ecuador have a strong home advantage based on altitude. The counter-argument to this is that football does not have any regulations to limit the weather conditions in which the game can be played.
If we’re going to limit altitude because it makes it hard for players to breathe, should we also ensure that football is not played when temperatures are too hot or too cold?
Personally, I think the regulation smacks of double-standards and has no place in the game. Natural conditions are either a part of the game or they are not. If FIFA really want to help football, they should try preventing World Cup matches from taking place in hot summer conditions (at least schedule them for late evenings) so that the players can give it their best shot 90 minutes straight, and not be hampered by the weather.
What do you guys think?