Uzbekistan FA cracks down on "bad habits"

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-01 20:43:25|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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TASHKENT, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Uzbekistan's Football Association says that players who are wasting their time and money on bad habits and are not observing a healthy lifestyle could face lifetime bans from football.

A statement from the association said on Thursday that a special commission would be set up to oversee the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle by the players.

"Our government is doing a great job to develop football in the country. At the same time, active actions are being taken against [sports] people who are only interested in personal interests because of the various habits which hinder the development of football," Umid Akhmadjonov, the first vice-president of the Uzbekistan Football Association, was quoted as saying in the statement.

Akhmadjonov added that some players spend their time in nightclubs until dawn, drinking alcoholic beverages and smoking hookah, and that these habits affect their physical fitness before important matches.

"This may also affect the performance of the national team in the international arena. Therefore, I want to note that every player must be, first of all, a professional. First of all, he must take care of his physical fitness. Therefore, if a special commission identifies football players who are wasting large sums of money on entertainment, and not observing a healthy lifestyle, these athletes will be suspended from football for life," Akhmadjonov said.

The official also noted that serious efforts would be made to target problems that hinder the development of the game in Uzbekistan, such as bribery, corruption and betting.

Uzbekistan are currently 95th out of 211 teams in FIFA's world rankings. Notable highlights include winning the 1994 Asian Games and placing fourth at the 2011 AFC Asian Cup.