David James: Former England goalkeeper concerned snus is ‘detrimental’ to players’ performances

David James made 53 appearances for England

Former England goalkeeper David James is concerned snus is “detrimental” to players’ performances because of his own experience of using the product.

Snus is a tobacco product in a sachet that is placed under the lip and releases nicotine into the bloodstream.

In March, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) said a growing number of players are using snus, with some receiving help for addiction.

“Snus has been around forever,” James told BBC Radio 5 Live Breakfast.

“I was very concerned about the use of snus when I was playing and after playing, seeing the amount of players using it.

“This is only a personal opinion because I’m not a scientist, I feel it has a detrimental effect on performance, similar to me smoking when I was actually capable of doing a lot more.”

The former Liverpool goalkeeper said he first tried snus in the 1990s and later used it to help him quit smoking cigarettes, which he did during his playing career.

Snus is illegal to sell in the United Kingdom but not against the law to use.

The PFA and Loughborough University are currently carrying out a study into the use and effects of the substance on players.

Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman said he would “love to see” an outright ban of snus in football.

“We tried to ban it at one stage and that didn’t really work out,” said Coleman.

“It’s very difficult to police it and the players don’t think they are doing anything wrong and that’s a worry.

“The thing that frustrates me is that a lot of the young pros think it’s fashionable and want to do what the older players are doing.”

West Ham forward Michail Antonio said he “hates” snus, having tried using it on two occasions.

“I put it in my mouth. Within five minutes, the whole entire room was spinning,” Antonio said in Friday’s episode of the Footballers’ Football Podcast.

“I’m throwing up. I’ve started barging people out of the way into the toilets and I’m projectile throwing up everywhere.”

However, Antonio said he understands why players choose to use snus.

“The reasons why players do it is because of the pressures of football and life. It really starts to get to people, so they need that stimulus,” he added.

“Clubs want players to be able to deal with things in any way they can. I haven’t seen any club be against it because clubs see players doing it and it’s not illegal, it’s not a banned substance in the game.”

2023-12-05 11:01:03
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