Shot to Nothing

Monday, May 28, 2007

Re-defining Homefield Advantage

The governing body of soccer, Fifa have made an unprecedented move (unprecedented meaning that they actually did something) by banning the playing of any matches at altitudes above 2,500 metres/8,200 feet.

This is bound to disappoint several national teams like Ecuador (left) who managed to win all of their home World Cup 2006 Qualifying games, taking down such giants as Brazil and Argentina. It couldn't have hurt that those games were played in Quito which is at an altitude of just under 10,000 feet.

Whilst stating that they have made this decision for health reasons, Fifa have been labeled as discriminatory by Peru who were hoping to play their next World Cup Qualifiers at a similar altitude to Ecuador's. In 2007 Brazilian team Flamengo refused to play any more games at altitude after many of their players needed Oxygen tanks during a game against the Bolivian team Real Potosi which was played at 13,120 feet.

Personally I think this is a 'nip it in the bud' decision, in order to stop a new team like Nepal demanding their home games to be played halfway up Mt. Everest and ending up with an undefeated home record and a string of altitude related sporting incidents.

[BBC Sport]

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At 8:33 pm, Anonymous Cheap Shots #27. « Signal to Noise said...

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At 9:32 pm, Anonymous Extra P. said...

I find this interesting. I mean, these guys were still losing more often than not, right? If marathoners can train at high altitude, why not south american soccer players, who know they will play in Ecuador?

At 5:07 am, Anonymous twins15 said...

Very interesting decision... I'm not sure how I feel about it. Good info there on a story I hadn't heard about.

At 7:27 am, Anonymous Sanchez said...

I think it was the right decision but only where teams were moving games out of their capital city to play in some village field umpteen thousand feet up.

But, if they train up there then I agree that there shouldn't be any problem.


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