Sometimes games of FIFA can become something of a routine, an unproductive way of alleviating boredom. But the surprisingly complex drinking game that comes with it elevates FIFA into something a bit more social and, if you aren’t very good, punishing.
If you want to make it out that night, a tight defence is crucial. Every time you concede, take four swigs from your tipple of choice; if a player is sent off in a momentary but costly rush of blood, do the same. If one of your players bites an opponent, finish everything you have to drink that evening.
It’s also important to be ruthless with your spot-kicks – four swigs for missing a penalty, so don’t play with England in a major tournament or you could really suffer.
There are also certain players who, quite simply, are not very good. Emile Heskey, now playing for Newcastle Jets in Australia, is famed for his inability to score from any position, and conceding to the former Liverpool and Aston Villa carthorse means you must finish your drink. Only the weakest of players let this happen.
FIFA players perceive themselves as something of a community, and so arrogance within a game does not go unnoticed. Anybody who shamelessly gloats over their dominance by performing kick-ups during a match must drink two fingers; the boring soul who passes among the defenders to protect their advantage must do the same.
My personal favourite is the rule concerning Andy Carroll, the £35m Liverpool striker on loan at West Ham United. Carroll joined the Reds from Newcastle United in January 2012 for an unquestionably excessive fee, and FIFA obsessives have never let the long-haired Geordie forget it.
Each time Carroll plunders a hat-trick, the opponent must go to his local shop and insist on buying something for ten times its actual value, to reflect Carroll’s inflated fee. Cue perplexed shopkeepers who are none the wiser as to why their Drumstick lollipop is suddenly worth £1.20 rather than 12p.
Fifa is, and will continue to be, the bane of students’ lives, particularly in exam season. But the drinking game aspect means that players are ever more concerned with their team’s discipline, defensive stability and penalty-taking abilities.
Woe betide the inexperienced FIFA player who, before a night out, sidles onto the Xbox for a ‘quick one’ before going out. They might suddenly find their evening doesn’t quite go as planned.
Be sure to drink safe! For information on responsible drinking, visit: http://www.drinkaware.co.uk