Football: Blatter's dash of cold water

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The Independent Online
SEPP BLATTER, the general secretary of Fifa, slapped down the Irish camp yesterday for their repeated complaints about the need for games to be stopped for players to take on water to counter the effects of the severe heat in the United States.

'The Irish seem to overdo this,' he said. 'They were complaining about drinks before the tournament had even started. Jack Charlton should perhaps attach more importance to his second game than to details which have been taken care of.'

Charlton, the Republic's manager, had said that his team were lodging a formal complaint with Fifa that World Cup players risked serious dehydration problems unless action was taken immediately.

Fifa's response was that there were already enough stoppages during a game.

The problem was highlighted during Ireland's victory over Italy, after which Tommy Coyne needed treatment for dehydration. Charlton claimed that an Irish official sent to the far touchline with bottles of water had been prevented from approaching the pitch by security Blatter said that players were entitled to take drinks on all sides of the pitch providing it did not interfere with play, and if security officials had intervened it could only have been a misunderstanding.

Andy Townsend is seeing an allergy specialist to cure the mystery rash on his legs which threatens his place in the Republic's game against Mexico on Friday.

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