FIFA introduces water break rules for World Cup

Though Brazil may be getting ready to start the winter season, temperatures are still staying toasty across much of the country.  Several World Cup match-ups already have seen temperatures in the 80s! Not only are temperatures running high, but humidity is also running high, making it feel quite uncomfortable. Some are even comparing this year's World Cup conditions to that of 1994's in Orlando, Florida. 

FIFA said it spent nearly two years analyzing starting times for the tournament in Brazil and always took into consideration the players' health.  Therefore, the venues with the highest average temperatures such as Manaus, Cuiaba and Fortaleza do not have any matches with 1 p.m. kickoff times during group stage.

FIFA has outlined criteria in which cooling breaks will afford players three minutes in each half to take on fluids.  Officials say they can introduce extra water breaks and provide players with cold towels where necessary, but that’s a medical decision that will be judged on a case by case basis, before each game, by their team of health professionals.

Whether a game qualifies for a cooling break will be decided an hour before kick-off when FIFA's venue medical officer will consult the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature,  a composite measure used to estimate the effects of such conditions on humans.  If it reads over 89.6F (32C), it is likely players will be allowed to take on fluids after both 30 and 75 minutes, but the match clock will not stop.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments