‘You have to be active and help protect players because it’s not a small problem’: Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl warns video games can be as addictive as alcohol or drugs
- Ralph Hasenhuttl says video gaming can be as addictive as alcohol or drugs
- While at RB Leipzig, Hasenhuttl’s players were up until the early hours on games
- The Southampton manager says he faces no such problems at his current club
- He is aware of the dangers of too much gaming though and wants to help players
Ralph Hasenhuttl says video gaming can be as addictive as alcohol or drugs and that players need education, protection and treatment.
While at RB Leipzig, Hasenhuttl said players were staying up until the early hours playing video games before matches and that he turned off Wi-Fi in team hotels to prevent issues.
The Southampton manager says he faces no such problems at his current club, but he is well aware of the dangers of excessive gaming.
Southampton’s Ralph Hasenhuttl says video gaming can be as addictive as alcohol or drugs
‘I didn’t have the feeling I have a problem in this team,’ the 51-year-old Austrian said.
‘After this media talk I want to speak to them also because it is something you must be aware of. If we have a problem there they will tell me and we can face it active and that’s what I want.’
Hasenhuttl explained the issues he faced during his two-year stint at Bundesliga side Leipzig.
‘I think it’s something you have to force actively against and I will do this,’ he said.
‘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 be active and to help protect them because it’s not a small problem because if you are honest it’s the same as alcoholism or getting addicted to drugs.
‘It’s something you get addicted to and that means we have to protect the players. To protect them means helping them not to spend so much time there.
‘(At Leipzig) we block the Wi-Fi in the hotel, for example, in the evening so they can’t play any more.’
While at RB Leipzig, Hasenhuttl said players were staying up until the early hours on games
The Sun revealed an unknown Championship player played video game Fortnite for up to 16 hours a day, with the sessions threatening to ruin his relationship and career.
Hasenhuttl, who has a keen attention to detail, says he has spoken to his players about the issue.
‘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,’ Hasenhuttl, whose side travel to Brighton on Saturday, added.
Southampton players Nathan Redmond and Shane Long have switched off from social media in a bid to improve their performance.
Hasenhuttl says he has spoken to his players about the issue in order ‘to protect them’
Hasenhuttl hopes to welcome back top scorer Danny Ings at Brighton after a long ley-off.
Ings injured his hamstring during the 1-1 draw at former club Burnley in early February and hasn’t played since.
But after coming through a half in a behind-closed-doors friendly against QPR, Hasenhuttl said Ings may start at the Amex.
‘Danny has trained for two weeks now with the first team. Last week we had a friendly game with QPR and he played 45 minutes without any problems so far,’ he said.
‘If he is an option from the starting XI, we will see. I’m happy he is back in training.
‘It’s important which is why we have him all the time he needs to become fit again. I think it’s important for the team that he is back in training because he has quality.
‘He is one of the strikers that can score and is flexible in his style of play.’
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