Southampton: Ralph Hasenhuttl blocks wi-fi to prevent players from gaming

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We have to protect players from 'addictive' video games - Hasenhuttl

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has blocked the wi-fi at team hotels to prevent his squad from playing "addictive" video games.

Hasenhuttl, who faced similar problems at former club RB Leipzig, compared it to alcohol and drug addiction.

"It's something you get addicted to and that means we have to protect the players," the 51-year-old said.

On Thursday, an anonymous English footballer admitted lengthy gaming sessions threatened to ruin his career.

The Sun revealed the unknown EFL player would play popular video game Fortnite for up to 13 hours a day.

"It's something you have to force actively against and I will do this," said Hasenhuttl, whose side travel to Brighton in the Premier League on Saturday.

"I did it in my last club. We had also problems with players - they were playing until three o'clock in the morning before a game.

"You have to help protect them because it's not a small problem. If you are honest it's the same as alcoholism or getting addicted to drugs.

"To protect them means helping them not to spend so much time there. We block the wi-fi in the hotel, for example, in the evening so they can't play any more."

Austrian Hasenhuttl, who took over at Southampton in December, said none of his players has serious problems with gaming but added: "You can be sure that I'm always in contact with my captain or with a few players to speak about them.

"As long as it's not officially for the government an illness, then we have to protect them in our way.

"If it would be an illness then it would be easy for the government to say the companies have to give a block after three hours, for example, that they cannot play this game any more.

"I will be active always in this direction because I have to protect them. Also outside the pitch - and that means for 24 hours I have to look at them."

Former Liverpool goalkeeper David James blamed too much gaming on a bad match against Newcastle in 1997, saying: "I was getting carried away playing Tekken II and Tomb Raider for hours on end."

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