Fifa was left with no choice but to take dramatic action this last week after it’s board met to discuss how it would contend with the covid virus during the next World Cup. “We’ve tried removing the supporters. That didn’t help. We’ve almost run out of goalkeepers,” said Max Wheeler, head of public relations, as he checked himself into a local hospital.
Rumours have been circulating for weeks, but it’s now official that the next world cup will see players run out onto the field wearing full body suits made from the same material used on the wheels of the Mars Rover. “We realise you won’t recognise your favourite player, but we’d rather have unrecognisable players alive as opposed to recognisable players that are dead,” said a breathless Wheeler.
Commercial stakeholders have already pounced on the new development which will see kit surface area expand by almost 60% to cover the legs, arms, hands and head. “It’s a no brainer,” said Remi Hazaan, director of marketing at DHL. “Given the airtime that we see given to fistbumps and celebratory punches into the air, we’re looking to have our logo on the right forearm. Traditionally we’ve been limited to the chest or the back. Now we have the whole body. We’re in uncharted waters. As a shipping company that excites us.”
Vaccinations had initially quelled suspicions that the 2022 world cup would fall victim to extreme covid protocols, however new strains are becoming increasingly difficult to control and pose a major threat to the future of sports entertainment. Health Workers on the frontlines are having to contend with the reality that their work over the last twelve months may have been for nothing. “We’ve worked day and night all year on our latest vaccine… But it has literally no effect on the new strain. You might as well just eat a bag of raisins. They’re as effective as our vaccine at this point,” said Larry Peters of pharmaceutical giant, Perryshtick.
Given the vaccine setbacks and rising infection rates Fifa is resolute that urgent action must be taken if the beautiful game is to be celebrated at Qatar in 2022. When asked for a comment Fifa marketing director Chad Hu had the following to say: “The full body kit is the best shot we have at making the world cup work. It may be unconventional, but ultimately soccer is a game about goals, not fashion.”
Concerns have been raised regarding sweat. “Obviously with such an insulated suit there is going to be a build up of perspiration,” observed Max Von Himmel, head of Research and Development at Fifa. “This is why we have developed the Perspichord. It’s essentially a pipe that will run from the neck of each player and connect to a drainage system on the roof of the stadium. To avoid entanglement we have created a rather nifty orientation system that is able to rotate with the movement of the players thereby enabling them to run, tackle, and do all the things we expect in a regular game of football.”
Fans on the other hand are less impressed. In response to the news bakery owner Mark Knight tweeted: “Give me a f**cking break.” After we reached out for a more family friendly response he messaged back saying: “I don’t mind the missing crowds. I’m happy to watch the games on telly. But putting the boys in those suits… It’s going to look like Chernobyl out there.”
Fifa remains adamant that unless it imposes new kit regulations it will be forced to cancel the World Cup entirely. Considering the financial fallout of a canceled tournament it is in the interest of Fifa to do everything in their power to manage this situation with care. While they may not be for everyone, Fifa’s new regulations will at the very least enable fans to enjoy the tournament they know and love. Players may be impossible to identify and running speeds will be reduced by up to 34%, but at the end of the day if lives can be saved then perhaps such measures will be justified.