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banner Wednesday, 6 March, 2002, 09:26 GMT
Fifa considers drinks breaks
Jamaica's Deon Burton takes a drink during the 1998 World Cup finals
Drinks breaks would split the game into quarters
Fifa is to discuss the possibility of allowing players to take drinks breaks during this summer's World Cup finals.

However, the chances of this happening during the games in Korea and Japan are unlikely, according to a Fifa spokesman.

Some countries have urged Fifa to allow players two 90-second water breaks during each match, splitting every game into quarters rather than the traditional two halves.

"It will come up on Wednesday at the meeting of the World Cup organising committee," Fifa spokesman Keith Cooper told BBC Radio Five Live.

You couldn't make a single exception for the World Cup
Keith Cooper
Fifa spokesman
However, Cooper believes the chances of the rules of the game being changed for one tournament are slim.

"The likelihood is very, very small," he said.

"It's not that hot in Korea and Japan in June. The temperatures are in the mid-20s.

"It rains like crazy, so there's going to be enough water around in any case."

"We played a test competition at the same time of year last year, the Fifa Confederations Cup, with eight teams from all over the world.

"And we didn't have one single complaint or comment after that to this effect."

Cooper was at pains to point out that players were already allowed to drink during matches.

"Whenever play is stopped for a free-kick or corner players can go to the touchline and there is water available to them there."

Special circumstances

He dismissed suggestions that implementing drinks breaks was just a ruse to allow more time for advertisers during matches.

And went on to explain that the rules of the games could not be changed on a whim.

"This would affect the laws of the game and they are sacrosanct and the same all over the world," he said.

"You couldn't make a single exception for the World Cup, except under very special circumstances and it doesn't seem to us that those circumstances are there at the moment."

Fifa spokesman Keith Cooper
"It is not that hot in Korea and Japan in June"
Are drinks breaks a good idea?



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