The manager of a UK football club has revealed that he blocks access to the internet in his team’s hotels in a bid to combat “addictive” videogames. Ralph Hasenhuttl, who’s in charge of English team Southampton FC, likened the habit to alcoholism or drug addiction.”
At a recent press conference (via the BBC) Hasenhuttl said that “it’s something you have to force actively against and I will do this,” complaining that at his previous club, German side RB Leipzig, his players were “playing until three o’clock in the morning before a game.”
“You have to help protect them because it’s not a small problem. If you are honest it’s the same as alcoholism or getting addicted to drugs,” he said. “To protect them means helping them not to spend so much time there. We block the wi-fi in the hotel, for example, in the evening so they can’t play any more.” Hasenhuttl did clarify, however, that none of his players currently has a serious problem when it comes to gaming.
The Southampton manager seemed to suggest that there could be grounds for government intervention of gaming addiction, saying that “as long as it’s not officially for the government an illness, then we have to protect them in our way. If it would be an illness then it would be easy for the government to say the companies have to give a block after three hours, for example, that they cannot play this game any more.”
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While Hasenhuttl didn’t reveal which games he’s limiting access to, one in particular has proven notably popular in European football. France’s Antoine Griezmann celebrated a goal in the World Cup final last summer with Fortnite’s ‘Take the L’ dance, and England captain Harry Kane said that Epic’s battle royale took up much of the team’s downtime during the same competition.