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Andrew Lowdon

Senior Account Manager

The World Cup is a time where footballers have the hopes and dreams of the nation resting on their shoulders. It’s been customary for managers to try and minimise distractions for the players. Invasion of the WAGS in 2006 anyone? Traditionally, sex and alcohol have been banned by football managers at previous World Cups. At the 2010 FIFA World Cup, international managers have taken the banning one stage further and banned Social Media!

The World Cup is a time where footballers have the hopes and dreams of the nation resting on their shoulders. It’s been customary for managers to try and minimise distractions for the players. Invasion of the WAGS in 2006 anyone? Traditionally, sex and alcohol have been banned by football managers at previous World Cups. At the 2010 FIFA World Cup, international managers have taken the banning one stage further and banned Social Media!

Seven countries (England, Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Chile and Argentina) placed a ban on players using Social Media during the World Cup before they set foot on the plane to South Africa. The only way England players can offer their thoughts mid-tournament is through the official website of the Football Association. Understandably, Fabio Capello does not want team selection news or tactical information to be unwittingly leaked through Tweets or Facebook updates. The Netherlands joined the list of nations banning players from using Twitter only days into the tournament, after Forward Eljero Elia sparked a race row by making a racist joke about Moroccans on a live webcam feed on teammate Ryan Babel’s Twitter account. Controversy in football generated by Twitter is nothing new. Last year, England Striker Darren Bent was forced to apologise after a foul mouthed rant aimed at the Chairman of his club Tottenham due to the length of time a potential move to Sunderland was taking. Brazilian star Kaka was also caught up in a media storm when his wife used her Twitter account to criticise his Real Madrid coach for not playing him enough. Twitter has taken the 24/7 total access to sports stars further than ever before and allowed sports fans to become closer to their heroes. Surely a set of guidelines on the dos and don’ts of Twitter usage during the World Cup could have been sufficient? The ban only restricts the access of fans wanting to know what’s happening in camp and prevents players from being aware of the World Cup fever going on back home!