THE SIDELINES : Sex Ban for Italian Soccer Team

<i> From Times Wire Services </i>

The coach of the Italian national soccer team has asked his players not to have sex until the World Cup tournament ends July 8.

Azeglio Vicini said today at the team’s training center that the next weekend will be the last at liberty for the players before a long period of “seclusion.”

“Chastity of players prior and during a major competition has been a long-debated but unsolved problem,” Vicini said.

Vicini, a former player, said he was certain the players would be busy enough trying to win an unprecedented fourth world title for Italy.


For entertainment, he said, the players will have videotapes and a few excursions out of the training center--under the watchful eye of Vicini and other team officials.

Most soccer coaches used to keep players in seclusion before important matches, but a few teams, such as the Netherlands, allowed the players’ wives into the training centers during the World Cup.