Depression affects professional footballers due to the interruption of continental and local competitions


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One of every ten players in the world has depression, according to the International Federation of Professional Footballers (FIFA), as a result of the stalling of local and continental competitions within the quarantine measures imposed to curb the spread of the Coruna virus. This percentage increases for players in the lower levels of the game, in which professionals do not receive high salaries, as are their counterparts in major competitions.

Players pass football Professionals with an unprecedented result Competitions stopped Imposed by the Corona virus, from “loss” to “anxiety”, “stress” and “longing”, to the extent that one out of ten among them suffers from psychological depression, according to the International Federation of Professional Players “Vivpro”.

The players were “in their bubble and now they are lost because they thought the stone period would not be long,” says Philippe Godin, a sports psychologist at the Belgian University of Louvain (central).

“The laziness is said to be the mother of all vices. We are there,” explained the man who takes care of the psychological state of the world’s most important athletes, adding that he was not surprised to hear different testimonies about players resorting to games, alcohol, and sex …

According to a study published by “Vivpro” on Monday that included 1,600 athletes, it was found that “22 percent of the players and 13 percent of the players suffer from symptoms consistent with the diagnosis of depression. There is also a general concern in 18 percent of the players and 16 percent of the players surveyed.”

Godan saw that “1,600 people are really a good sample”, in response to those skeptical in the scientific sense of the study conducted in England, France, Switzerland, South Africa, Belgium, or even the United States, countries like many others, where strict measures were imposed to contain The spread of the “Covid-19” virus.

In a recent interview with the BBC, Michael Bennett, in charge of the Health Division of the Professional Players Association in England, said, “We thought that during the first one or two weeks, there would be some kind of satisfaction that people get the chance to stay in Home to spend time with the family, but we always knew that the longer the period, the higher the possibility that (psychological stress) will reach them. “

He pointed out that “among the problems mentioned by the players, some found themselves financially strangled after surrendering to compulsive shopping in order to kill boredom, at a time when the mystery of the fate of some with regard to With their future salaries And the prospect of them having to agree to join the financial efforts “related to reducing the financial burden on clubs in this difficult period by reducing salaries.

And the financial uncertainty is also one of the main sources of concern for athletes who earn a lot of money, but its impact is much greater on players who are inferior and salary in lower grades, and this is indicated by “Vivpro” in the study conducted jointly with the University Hospital in Amsterdam, revealing that “The percentage of players (surveyed) who reported symptoms, is significantly higher among those who are concerned about their future in the football industry.”

Seek appropriate help

The state of anxiety also controls the national federations, as is the case in England, where Bennett expressed “great concern about the players’ situation in terms of emotional and mental balance.”

The statement of the Italian Juventus superstar and the Portuguese team, Cristiano Ronaldo, told “Luca” news agency on Saturday, the best diagnosis for putting players in the shadow of football, saying that “without the passion (generated by the matches), the athlete never goes away”, while he saw the Belgian defense heart Vincent Kompany Currently coach, along with his role as an Anderlecht player, “We ‘tread’ in the air.”

Anderlecht resumed his exercises “for players who want it” despite the uncertainty and desire to cancel the season while calculating the teams’ ranking before the decision to stop to determine the hero.

“It is important for the players to regain the training atmosphere and feel like they are a team again,” said David Stijn, Anderlecht media official, while Bennett warned the players that “when they feel that something is wrong, they should ask for appropriate help.”

What complicates matters further is the state of uncertainty and the absence of a clear vision about what will happen to people who are used to being in the midst of their athletic giving during this period of the year.

Godin describes what players are currently experiencing with the feeling of “those who have just put an end to their path”, explaining “they have only one center of interest (football), and without it, they feel lost and anxious, unlike less wealthy athletes who (in the current crisis) are studying and working (the other) ) … “.

The current reality is deteriorating the physical condition of footballers, and makes their mental health in danger, according to “Vivpro”, so does this constitute an additional reason for the resumption of competitions as soon as possible?

Jonas Bayer-Hoffmann, Secretary General of Vivpro, answered this question Monday at a press conference via video calling, warning, “If we pressure the players to return them (to the stadiums) in an environment where they feel their safety is at risk, this will increase Their tension and anxiety, “stressing that” the mental health of the players should not be an excuse to rush to resume competitions. “

France 24 / AFP