FA seeks more fluid line on drinks breaks during heatwave

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The Independent Online

England's average water intake more than tripled in the searing heat of the Waldstadion, but the Football Association has raised concerns with Fifa, the game's world governing body, that players had insufficient time to rehydrate during the match against Paraguay on Saturday.

With touchline temperatures reaching 100 degrees Fahrenheit, England consumed 70 litres of water on Saturday afternoon, a dramatic increase on the normal match-day total of 20 litres, and yet their players still lost an average of 5lb to 10lb during the 1-0 victory. The Mexican referee, Marco Rodriguez, refused several requests for players to take more fluids and, although the problem should ease in England's next two games, which kick-off at 6pm and 9pm German time, the FA believes officials should permit drinks intervals during natural stoppages in play.

"This is not a complaint to Fifa, but we will be communicating with them," said the FA director of communications, Adrian Bevington. "The medical staff were concerned. It is important players can access water as soon as possible in severe heat and that referees take that into account. If there is a break in play, a goal-kick, throw-in, maybe they can allow players an extra second or two to get fluids."

Fifa's head of communications, Markus Siegler, said: "I really don't understand the problem. . The players are actively encouraged to drink water but it must be done in the right way. It must be during a break in play and we don't want bottles thrown on and off the pitch."

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