The festival of football is upon us. While it unites different countries and brings close friends and family closer, it may cause life-threatening side-effects. As fans are planning trip to Russia to cheer and support their team, they should also prepare for probable trip to hospitals. Experts believe that too much love for FIFA may sicken or worse kill football-lovers.
A research has disclosed long list of possible threats from sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) to accidents to even domestic violence that can ensue during the season of FIFA. According to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine in 2010, football “is not just a game” and it could acutely increase death threats and cardiovascular diseases. A just-missed tie-breaking goal or a defeat on the home ground can lead to stroke for a passionate fan. People with a history of heart diseases are the most probable victims of FIFA as they find themselves in stressful circumstances during their favorite match.
People may joke, “Nearly had a heart attack during the match!” However, this is no joking matter. According to a study in New Zealand, the result of a match can drive some to more than tears. Not just heart attacks, but the number of patients with eye strokes also increases. One study pointed out the increased cases of “retinal vein occlusion” or “eye stroke”–a blockage of small veins in the eyes– during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Researchers compared the number of patients of eye stoke treated at the German university eye clinic during and after the period of 2014 World Cup. They reported significant increase in eyes strokes–which is prominent in heart patients–owing to the stress caused by World Cup match. Other than increase in health risks, FIFA can lead to domestic violence.
Research has proved that the stressful moments of a FIFA match can trigger stress, anxiety, and anger, which in turn can lead to domestic violence. A survey brought forward that fans tend to get violent even when their team wins. According to a study of Dr. Stuart Kirby, the criminologist at the Lancaster University, stated that the rate of domestic violence increased in England and Wales during the 2002, 2006, and 2010 FIFA tournaments. Shockingly, the incidences occurred even after the win of England. Statistically, the incidents increased by about 38 percent when England lost and 26 percent when England won a game. An independent research regarding the 2010 FIFA World Cup showed similarities with Kirby’s readings. During the World Cup, domestic violence in England was risen by 2017 percent after country’s win and over 31 percent after its loss.
Why does such entertainment-oriented game is now killing sport fans? Psychologists believe that these games give a sense of shared identity. Moreover, some offer hope of “maybe this time” for those people whose team never wins. The high expectations and crushed hopes lead to disappointment. After the knock-out of Iran from 2014 World Cup, several women in Tehran drank poison as they failed to cope with their disappointment. To deal with such threating issues, this year, FIFA medical is participating to increase the awareness about SCA, in which it outlined the signs, prevention steps, and emergency steps regarding SCA. Thus, let’s hope that such measures prevent SCA and other “side-effects of FIFA” and 2018 FIFA World Cup remains only about football, football, and football.