Football fans who spend hours guzzling beer while watching the World Cup on television may be trying to compensate for not being man enough to play the game, says a new study.
Psychology researchers at the University of Sussex claim that men who are not confident of their sporting abilities are likely to turn to alcohol to try and prove their masculinity.
The study, based on interviews with 31 London youths in the age group of 18-21, investigates what they consider to be masculine behaviour and how this affects their health.
'What is really interesting is the idea of using one type of typically masculine behaviour to compensate for another. For example, men who are not confident in their sporting abilities may try and make up for this by drinking excessively,' says lead researcher Richard de Visser.
The study comes amid concerns about the link between football and alcohol when the World Cup extravaganza kicks off in Germany on Friday.
Media reports in the UK have pointed out that beer consumption in local pubs is expected to rise by 40 per cent every time England plays and authorities are bracing themselves for an increase in drink-related problems.