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Football final temporarily stopped because of heat

Football final temporarily stopped because of heat

The Olympic football final between Argentina and Nigeria was temporarily stopped twice by FIFA officials because of the heat at the Bird's Nest stadium on Saturday.
After an intervention by FIFA's chief medical officer, Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai stopped play following a free kick in the 30th minute and allowed players to cool off and drink water and other refreshments on the sidelines.
Argentina won its second consecutive Olympic gold medal with a 1-0 victory against the Nigerians.
The match, which started at noon, was stopped again for the same reason in the 70th. Each break took about two minutes.
"It was necessary to give the players a break," FIFA chief medical officer Jiri Dvorak told The Associated Press. "We are worried with heat stroke and other problems players may suffer in this kind of weather."
Dvorak, who was at the stadium specifically to monitor the heat and ensure the conditions were safe for the players, said the temperature was 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 degrees Fahrenheit) when he decided to ask the referee to stop play.
He said FIFA doubled the medical staff for the match and took several other measures as a precaution because of the heat. He said he told both teams to make sure players drank enough water at halftime and during the match to avoid dehydration.
Nigeria coach Samson Siasia said the game should not have been played in the middle of the day in such powerful heat.
"No team has actually played at noon since we started this tournament," he said. "It affected both countries and most players didn't perform to their level because of the heat. But we didn't make the rules. They said play the game at 12 o'clock which I don't think wasn't a good idea."
Argentina striker Sergio Aguero also complained.
"It was tough for everyone," he said. "It was hard to run around out there in this heat."


Updated : 2021-05-18 07:13 GMT+08:00