Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 10.42.29 AM.png“Down the years, professional footballers have blamed a lacklustre performance on many things. Famous explanations have included the ball being too bouncy (Newcastle United); the pitch being too small (Tottenham Hotspur); and the team being forced to play in the wrong colour kit (Manchester United).

Now a group of health economists has discovered another reason that should send alarm bells ringing far beyond the world of sport. Andreas Lichter, Nico Pestel and Eric Sommer, researchers at the IZA economic institute in Bonn, Germany, will present a study at this month’s Royal Economic Society’s annual conference in Brighton which shows that air pollution is significantly affecting the performance of professional footballers. Their findings are based on analysing the form of players in Germany’s Bundesliga between 1999 and 2011.” The Guardian. Read it on

Is your football team playing badly? It may be air pollution