FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), Football’s governing body, has once more banned international matches from being played at more than 2,500m (8,200ft) above sea level. It then changed to 3000 m. They said the decision was made because of concerns over players’ health and possible distortion of competition.
Just want to pass along a letter mailed this week to Bolivia’s president, Evo Morales, by my colleague Gustavo Zubieta of the Institute of High Altitude Pathology in La Paz, in reference to the recent FIFA effort to ban high altitude soccer games.
Dr. Zubieta, one of the world’s leading authorities on high altitude physiology, is presently at the University of Copenhagen. The letter is also signed by Prof. Jens Bangsbo, an international authority on soccer physiology and Prof. Poul-Erik Paulev exercise physiologist from the University of Copenhagen.
The letter specifically notes that “based on extensive knowledge over many years of work in research on exercise, pressure changes, environmental changes and different conditions that the human body can tolerate during the practice of sports”, that “the world games of soccer can and should be played in the high altitude cities of La Paz.”
You can download a copy by clicking on the image above or accesing this link:
High Altitude Medical Anthropologist
La Paz, Bolivia
June 24, 2007