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Irish Army Banned From Playing Soccer & Volleyball In Chad Because The Ground Is Too Hard


The Irish Army is not exactly a feared military force, and it’s no wonder why: Their troops are being coddled.

Irish troops currently serving in Chad have been banned from playing soccer and volleyball. The reason? High-ranking officers have decided that the ground is too hard.

The soccer/volleyball ban was announced by Defence Minister Willie O’Dea, who said:

It was the commander’s assessment that the risk of hospitalisation or permanent repatriation of personnel due to sports injuries was not acceptable to him as all personnel are required for operational deployments on immediate notice.

The reality in Chad is that the ground is extremely hard. Some of the sports are played out on open ground and when people fall, it tends to have a much greater impact on their bodies than falling in a field in Ireland, where the ground is not nearly as hard. As far as I am aware, one soldier suffered a serious injury as a result of engaging in sport.


So let’s get this straight: personnel in the Irish Army are expected to be combat-ready in Chad, but they aren’t allowed to have some fun while there for fear of being hurt on the hard ground? If they do face an opponent on the battlefield, will the opposition have to use Nerf bombs and paper airplanes so the Irish don’t get hurt?

Ireland bans football for troops in Africa [AFP]

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  • EthanJaynes

    Nerf bombs :-)

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  • The Observer

    The writer of this article is a moron. The troops are operating hours from a field hospital and they are doing very serious work. They should be applauded for their dedication, not derided for being cautious. I wonder if the unnamed writer has ever spent a single day in Africa. If one was injured and had to be mede-vaced out, he'd be cribbing about the cost. By the way moron, fear is spelled with an r, not a t. Did you study English in school?

    • Jonathan

      I admire the troops for their dedication, just not the higher-ups who won't let them have any fun & relax during their downtime. You can't protect everyone from everything all the time. Not to mention, not letting the troops play sports will likely have a negative impact on morale, which will also hurt the mission.

      By the way, if you are going to criticize me for making a typo where I was one key off, you might want to learn that compound sentences should be connected with a comma.

  • The Observer

    Jonathan, there is a gym and a recreation room in the camp. The soldiers are encouraged to use these as often as possible. They are allowed to run outside the camp daily. They are under armed guard when they do this. It is not a Scout Jamboree out in Chad.

    You might want to learn to use a multitude of sources before forming an opinion. Their morale is extremely high as they are about to return home after four months of military operations in Africa. Their commanders have managed to get them trained, deployed and about to return from an arduous mission with no fatalities or serious injuries, while accomplishing their mission goals. Playing soccer and volleyball weren't in the brochure.

  • stanford64

    Playing soccer and volleyball aren't in the brochure

  • stanford64

    Playing soccer and volleyball aren't in the brochure

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