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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 June 2006, 17:34 GMT 18:34 UK
England make water plea to Fifa
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer in Baden-Baden

David Beckham
David Beckham cools off during the win over Paraguay
England officials want Fifa to ensure players get greater access to fluids during games after they suffered in the Frankfurt heat against Paraguay.

Football's governing body insists it is happy for players to take drinks provided guidelines are followed.

But there were times when England staff had trouble getting water to players.

FA spokesman Adrian Bevington said: "We will make a communication to Fifa, certainly not a complaint, because the medical staff were concerned."

England players lost an average of between five and 10lbs and drank huge amounts of water during Saturday's 1-0 victory.

Bevington said: "We went through 70 litres of water when normally we go through something in the region of 20.

"That shows how much fluid was required and it is important the players can access it as soon as possible.

"It is also important referees take this into account when you are playing in such severe heat.

It is a serious business - this sort of thing has got to be taken care of

Former England defender Jack Charlton

"If there is a break in play, maybe a goal-kick or a throw-on, then hopefully referees can take an extra second or two to let the players take some fluids on board."

Fifa says it "actively encourages" players to take on fluids during a game, provided its rules are obeyed:

  • Drinks must be contained in plastic bottles and can only be taken when play stops.

  • Bottles must be handed to players on the sidelines and not thrown onto the pitch.

  • Goalkeepers can keep a drink in a plastic bottle in the corner of their goal.

  • Plastic bottles may be placed around the pitch, a metre from the touchlines, as long as they do not interfere with the assistant referees.

    It adds: "Rules must be observed so as to avoid disorderliness on the field and possible injury from objects such as bottles being thrown around."

    Former England centre-half Jack Charlton told Five Live Sport the issue was a serious one.

    Charlton was Republic of Ireland manager at the 1994 World Cup in USA when he clashed with officials trying to get water to his players on the pitch.

    "Players are running about in an enclosed stadium in temperatures when normal people would go and stand under some shade. They are sweating and it is hard work for them," said Charlton.

    "In 1994 Fifa sent Ireland a letter saying if the players did not have water in the temperatures they were playing in, then they were likely to go into a coma from which they were liable not to recover."

    Meanwhile, a leading German weather forecaster has boosted England by saying Thursday's game with Trinidad & Tobago, which kicks off three hours later at 1700 BST, will be played in much cooler temperatures.

    It would be a killer having the roof closed above, with the massive crowds inside

    German weather forecaster Joerg Kachelmann
    "There will be showers and maybe thunderstorms during the day," said Joerg Kachelmann. "Thursday will be the first cool day of the week."

    However, the situation could worsen as Fifa has indicated the roofs on some World Cup stadiums may be closed to help eradicate distracting shadows being cast on the pitch.

    Director of Communications Markus Siegler said television images were being spoilt by the distinctive shadows caused by stadium design, roof girders or other structures.

    But Kachelmann warned: "It would be a massive greenhouse inside if they close the roofs, with temperatures rising well above 30 degrees."

    We must beat the heat, says Cole
    11 Jun 06 |  England
    England goal credited to Gamarra
    11 Jun 06 |  England
    England 1-0 Paraguay
    10 Jun 06 |  World Cup 2006


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