National sides cannot afford cover for soccer superstars

Beazley’s sports disability underwriter Peter Thompson, who has insured 150 players at the world cup, says this year’s competition will be “the most injury exposed in history”, the FT reports.

“When you play more than 50 games in a season, your vulnerability to ongoing injuries, particularly in the knee area, increases significantly,” he said. “Europe-based players are particularly exposed, due to the growing number of national and international competitions in which they participate.”

Paul Murray, director at the independent actuarial consultancy, EMB, said: “In reality, many national associations, particularly those in Africa, would struggle to meet the cost of covering the wages of the likes of Michael Essien, Didier Drogba and Kolo Toure.”

Beazley says there is well over $1bn of cover being provided for any kind of interruption, delay or abandonment of the World Cup and the consequent loss of revenues.