Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Ice-cool France rely on plan to chill out at half-time

Laurent Blanc's France side will wear "ice jackets" at half-time in the 30C heat of Donetsk tomorrow evening.

The jackets will be packed with eight pockets of ice, toregulate the players' bodytemperatures. "They look like bulletproof vests. They weigh 400 grams when they're empty and 1.9 kilograms with the ice packs in them," said the France team doctor, Fabrice Bryand. "Players will wear them before training or before games, and also in the dressing room at half-time."

The jackets were used at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, where temperatures were comparable.

"The brain reacts to a rise in [body] temperature. You have to keep the temperature stable," Bryand said. "They were made in co-operation with the army and the fire service. It's more or less the same material that firefighters have to keep their skin cool."

The England manager, Roy Hodgson, said last night: "I have a good medical team and a group of people that will be doing everything that they can to re-hydrate the players and bring their temperatures down.

"I haven't got any specific things I can tell you."