Not content with economic and political issues (as well as providing muy caliente young analysts to the coffee shops around their Washington DC offices) the Organization of American States has issued a resolution calling on FIFA to back off their ban on high altitude matches:
The Organisation of American States (OAS) called on FIFA on Tuesday to reconsider its decision to ban high altitude soccer internationals, a ruling that has infuriated Andean countries. Click here In a resolution sought by Bolivia, the hemispheric body said FIFA’s decision was a ‘negative precedent and restricts international soccer-playing for the hemisphere’s peoples.’ The resolution stopped short of explicitly rejecting the FIFA measure as Bolivia had hoped.
Well, in fairness, the Brazilians did sign on to the milder resolution, so there was only so much that Bolivia could hope for… so it’s sort of on, FIFA!
The FIFA ruling came after a Copa Libertadores match between a Brazilian club and a Bolivian side that took place at almost 13,123 feet (4,000 meters) above sea level and ended with some Brazilian players needing medical attention.
Holy shit. I don’t think I could play 90 minutes of football at sea level, far less 13,000 feet, without needing medical attention. Still, it seems to me that unless FIFA finds a way for countries to play at the average of their capital cities’ altitudes in a climate controlled environment, they should rescind this ruling and start doing something useful, like mandating heavier balls so that we can see people actually complete a pass now and again.