FUEL Soccer Talk for 9/24: FIFA Esports Protests, Heat Injury Prevention, and Fundraising for Charity

Today we’re talking about protests against FIFA’s esports programs, heat injury prevention issues in soccer, and team fundraising for charity.

It’s a beautiful Monday morning here at FUEL Soccer HQ. Did you have a good game this weekend? Let’s get into it.

1. Game paused as soccer fans protest esports (FOX Sports)

With all the hype around esports in our sport, especially with the growing scene around the FIFA series, it’s easy to forget that not everyone is on board. At a soccer game in Switzerland over the weekend, fans threw tennis balls and game controllers onto the field, all to protest the increasing presence of esports in soccer.

“Young Boys fans held up a giant banner with the symbol of a pause button and television pictures showed a black games console on the pitch with a slogan opposing electronic gaming leagues.”

Even the other team was in on it.

“Basel fans also had a banner expressing support for the pre-planned protest.”

The image of the pause button banner is quite striking (the banners and controllers had NSFW slogans). But what’s all the fuss about? Preston Byers writes at Dot Esports:

While FC Basel has three contracted FIFA players, all of which were re-signed on Sept. 13, it remains unclear why the Bernese supporters reject esports so passionately. While esports has grown and seen interest from major soccer clubs around the world, Young Boys Bern doesn’t appear to have any affiliation with esports.

We can’t figure this one out. Esports Earnings lists just the current FIFA title, FIFA 18, as having awarded over 2 million dollars in prize money to players in less than a year. It looks to us like esports has already brought a lot of new resources and attention to our game.

And who benefits? Your fellow soccer fans, fans who’ve also decided to dedicate their time and effort to the sport we all love. To borrow a phrase from our gamer friends, “y u mad bro?”

Next Gen: Is your soccer organization involved in esports? Do you have a favorite esports player you follow in the game?

2. Spat in Spanish soccer over playing during daytime heat (USA Today)

If you thought the recent controversies about heat-related injuries in sports were isolated to young athletes, think again. In Spain, even the pro players are taking it seriously.

The federation issued a statement on Sunday to express its “displeasure that matches are still being played each weekend under temperatures that are over 30 degrees (Celsius, 86 Fahrenheit) with the problems that cause athletes and fans.”

Some of the games have been rescheduled, including one Sunday.

Sunday’s match between Athletic Bilbao at Real Betis played in the southern city of Sevilla was originally scheduled to start at 18:30, but the league pushed it back to 20:00 earlier this week when forecasts called for temperatures to approach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit).

It’s just another story that emphasizes how important is to take the heat into account, and adjust your training and play schedule accordingly. With everything we have to focus on and keep track of, something as incidental as the temperature can get away from you. But no matter what level of play you’re at, it’s always there as a concern.

Personal Training: What is your team or organization doing to prepare for the temperature? Is everyone trained on how to prevent and spot heat related injuries?

3. High school soccer team holds car wash to raise money for cancer research (WHAM)

It’s Monday, so we had to cap it off with a little Monday Motivation. Check out what this team from New York is doing for community service.

The team held a car wash Saturday, where all the money raised will go toward prostate cancer research at Wilmot Cancer Institute.

That car wash program has had enormous results.

Over seven years now, the team has raised about $15,000 from these car washes for cancer research.

That’s pretty incredible. We love stories like this, because it shows how the game brings people together and connects them in ways you can’t predict. These boys have turned their love of a soccer into a big impact on fighting cancer. As always, is there anything this game can’t do?

Pay Forward: What is your team doing to give back to the community? What causes are important to you and your teammates?

What’s fueling your soccer conversations today? Email Managing Editor Dan Guttenplan and tell us your point of view.