Football Federation Australia (FFA) has rejected claims that player welfare was not given the utmost consideration in the decision to play the Hyundai A-League Round 6 match between Perth Glory v. Adelaide United last Saturday.
Perth Glory coach Alastair Edwards and Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) raised concerns about player welfare due to the forecast temperature during the match.
FFA has today confirmed the heat procedures that were strictly followed in the lead up to and on match day.
“FFA follows a heat policy that was developed and implemented by the FFA Head of Medical Services, Dr Jeff Steinweg and which is consistent with the American College of Sports Medicine’s Position Statement,” said Head of Hyundai A-League, Damien de Bohun.
“This policy is guided by the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) which takes into account the air temperature, humidity, wind, and radiation to provide a more accurate indicator of the risk of heat related injuries. This Policy suggests a WBGT of 28° as the point above which a game should be considered being postponed.
“The WBGT in Perth just prior to kick off on Saturday was 27.1°C, so the conditions were not considered “unacceptable”.
“Despite this reading being below the policy guidelines, FFA implemented a first half drinks break to further ensure the safety of the players on the field. All the decisions in relation to the moving ahead with the match were guided by and approved by the Dr Steinweg.
“Everyone should rest assured that player safety was given primary consideration.”
FIFA recently recommended that “cooling breaks”, but not postponement, be permitted if the WBGT exceeds 32°.