The complete guide to World Cup sex rules

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Every World Cup coach has his own methods for trying to improve the success of his team. Some coaches have imposed rules on their players not only covering their training regimen and on-field tactics, but also on their after-hours activities. While researchers have found that sex is no physical detriment to athletic performance, some coaches are unconvinced. Here’s where the teams come down on their players’ bedroom activities during the World Cup.


Some teams have explicit policies about player sex that they’ve shared publicly. When those aren’t known, Quartz assumed teams that allowed girlfriends and wives to stay in or visit the players’ hotel rooms—as Italy has—and otherwise didn’t have an explicit ban allowed their players to have sex. Teams such as the Russians, who are traveling without their wives or girlfriends, are counted as banning sex. Teams that put some light restrictions on sex—such as Spain and Germany, which only ban it on the night before a match—were considered to to allow it. Where a coach would not make his policy known—like the South Korean coach—or we couldn’t find reporting on the subject, the team’s policy was listed as unknown. (Teams would presumably apply the rules similarly to any gay players’ boyfriends and husbands—though they generally seem to assume heterosexual relationships.)

We listed teams that have restrictions that are more nuanced  as “it’s complicated.” For instance, Costa Rican players are banned from having sex until the second round (or presumably elimination.) The French team’s rules on the matter hinge on the frequency, the type, and timing of intimacy. (France’s former team doctor has said (link in French) that sex is “relaxing” for players, but shouldn’t be an all-night activity.) Nigeria allows wives but not girlfriends and the hosting Brazilian team can have sex as long as it’s not “acrobatic.”

Update (July 2): The coach of the Belgium team has now said his players are prohibited from having sex during the first three weeks of the tournament (french). We now list the team as “it’s complicated.”