The breaks can be called after 30 minutes of each half.
The FIFA Executive Committee on Tuesday decided to permit cooling breaks after the 30th minute of the first and second halves of games, if temperatures exceeded a certain level.
Michel d’Hoogie, the Chairman, FIFA Medical Committee, said that such breaks would be implemented from time to time at the federation’s flagship tournament.
D’Hoogie explained that a number of matches at the 2014 World Cup, including two quarter-finals, scheduled to kick-off at 1:00 p.m. brought up the decision of the extra breaks.
He said that the condition at which cooling breaks would be observed would be called the Web Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT).
“A measure incorporating elements such as humidity and solar inclination, as well as air temperature exceeds 32 degrees,” he said.
D’Hooghe said that such breaks were used at the football tournament in the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
The chairman added that the cooling breaks would be used in any of the FIFA competitions.
He said that the innovation was likely to be welcomed by commercial television companies with rights to broadcast FIFA competitions, players and coaching staff.
“This is because the cooling breaks will provide an opportunity for additional commercial breaks at key moments, when the outcome of matches is still in the balance and viewers are unlikely to switch off.
“This enhances the fluid nature of football, in contrast to the stop/start rhythm of mainstream US team sports, such as baseball and American football.
“This is challenging for commercial broadcasters as there are long stretches in which they dare not break from the action to show advertisements, for fear of missing a decisive moment,” he said.
D’Hooghe said that match officials would be given a certain amount of discretion to decide the exact juncture at which play would be halted, in cases where the stipulated WBGT had been exceeded.
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