Manchester United winger Antony has bizarrely blamed the air conditioning in Qatar that forced him to miss Brazil training last week.
Antony was forced to sit out training for two days after the Selecao’s 2-0 win over Serbia in their opening group game, with journalists reporting it as ‘illness’ rather than injury.
He did then feature from the bench again in their second World Cup match a few days later – a hard-fought 1-0 win over Switzerland – and he has now revealed what caused the issue.
“It was a bit difficult,” Antony said afterwards. “I ended up having a bad feeling there for a few days that complicated me a bit. I’m recovering well and getting 100%. It was more of a sickness, throat. It was the air conditioning.”
Alisson Becker and Lucas Paqueta also missed some training for Brazil last week too, and Antony has hinted he is not the only player in the camp experiencing the problem.
“Other players also had a cough and a bad throat,” he said. “It’s very difficult for me to get sick, but I’m happy to be an important part of the team. Whenever you need Antony, I’m available.”
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Air conditioning has been a problem for players in other sports too, especially for sportsmen who are not accustomed to it.
Tennis player Daniil Medvedev, who was then the world number one, cited it as a reason for his defeat at the US Open earlier this year.
“I actually felt a little sick today,” he said. “I get sick every lap in the USA because of the A/C systems that are crazy here.”