Football, or soccer, is the most popular sport in the world. As such, FIFA is a global institution that has lost upwards of 14 billion USD due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, there is a rich incentive to get back into the game as soon as possible, and that leaves FIFA teams and athletes with a logistical problem to solve. These tips can help your FIFA team return to professional soccer during the pandemic in the safest way possible.

Prioritize Immune Health

There’s no getting around it: the coronavirus is a serious threat, and it’s not going anywhere for the time being. While there is an immense desire and/or pressure for life to return to normal, this can only be accomplished incrementally. Athletes returning to work means accepting what is technically an unnecessary risk, and doing so responsibly is the key to doing so safely.

Improve the Team’s Diet

The most foundational way in which teams can protect themselves and others is to adopt a diet that promotes immune health. A great place to start is to find dietary aids like a greens supplement that can provide essential vitamins like C and D that affect the health of the immune system directly. This is especially important because of the lack of sunlight that comes from dealing with a global pandemic. Vitamin D deficiencies are also fairly common among certain populations that simply see less sun throughout the year, or it can be caused by an otherwise unrelated medical condition. Vitamin C, on the other hand, is common in many foods, especially citrus fruits.

Make Sure Everyone Is Getting Plenty of Sleep

Another factor that has a major impact on a person’s immune system is sleep or the lack thereof. Sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on the immune system, and a lack of sleep is a fairly common phenomenon in the modern era. This means that many people have their immune systems compromised as the result of burning the candle at both ends. Give your team the time they need to get the required amount of sleep each night, especially prior to a game when they will spend time engaging in direct contact with other players. In addition to the medical recommendation of 7-9 hours of sleep each night, your team should also try to get sleep at a consistent time of day and get plenty of exercise in order to best capitalize on the sleep they get.

Keep Training

Athletes have one advantage when it comes to resuming their careers during the pandemic. Getting plenty of exercise is another crucial way for your team to improve their immune systems and, in that regard, that means that your team will have stronger immune systems by remaining active than they would being out of work and self isolating. Resuming training as early as possible and sticking to a consistent training regimen is one of the best things you can do for your team’s immune health, provided that other safety measures are being taken into consideration for these training sessions.

Consider Morale

Last, but not least, mental health has a role to play in the health of the immune system. This presents one of the biggest challenges for resuming normal, daily life during the pandemic, because a full year of fear and isolation have left many dealing with ailing mental health. Likewise, attempting to return to normal at this time will likely incur additional stress that can compromise your team’s immune systems. You need to communicate with your team in order to make sure that everyone is handling the situation well, because those who aren’t are the most in need of help.

While FIFA is a sorely missed and much needed form of entertainment the world over, it can only resume operations if everyone plays ball in terms of maintaining adequate safety protocols. These tips can help you keep your team safe and do your part to bring FIFA back during this hour of need.