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Sex please we're still in with a chance at the World Cup

By Andrew Downie

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - It might be hard to stand up in court but evidence is mounting that sex is good for footballers – at least in this World Cup.

All eight of the teams through to the quarter-finals allowed their players to have sexual relations with partners during down time, according to Brazil's Lance! newspaper. All of the teams that banned it have been knocked out, the paper added.

Studies suggest sexual intercourse up to two hours before an event does not adversely affect the performance of high level athletes but not all 32 squads had a clear policy on whether to allow their players conjugal visits during the tournament, which is being held in Brazil for the first time since 1950.

Some teams, such as Bosnia, Chile, and Mexico, who have all gone home, slapped a ban on sexual relations. Others, like the Netherlands and Germany, who are in the last eight, set aside time for their players to see wives and girlfriends.

Brazil's squad have been given days off after some games and manager Luiz Felipe Scolari said he did not mind if they had "normal sex" but warned them off anything too "acrobatic".

Scolari's strategy seems to be working, with Brazil through to face Colombia on Friday as they attempt to lift a record sixth World Cup, and is in keeping with the hosts' love of love.

Former Brazil forward Romario said having sex before a game helped him relax and play better while the late Socrates, who had six children, wrote that results were "exceptional" when he had sex the night before and the morning after a game.

"Sex isn't bad for you before or after games," said ex-Corinthians and Porto striker Casagrande. "Only during."

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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