Greenacre puts heat on FFA

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Wellington's boss claimed the welfare of players needs to be a bigger priority after the temperature at kick-off on Sunday was over 38 degrees

Wellington Phoenix co-coach Chris Greenacre has indicated Football Federation Australia (FFA) should revisit its heat policy after Sunday's A-League match was played in extreme heat.

Greenacre claimed some of his players suffered from "heat stroke" during the game at Coopers Stadium.

Adelaide United's 2-2 draw with the Phoenix began at 4.30pm local time with the Bureau of Meteorology recording a temperature of 38.3 degrees Celsius in the South Australian capital.

Speaking after the match where Wellington conceded a late equaliser, Greenacre revealed the visitors had asked for the kick-off to be delayed but their request had been denied.

"They're absolutely shattered, as you can imagine - very, very tough conditions for both sets of players," Greenacre said at his post-match press conference.

"Had a couple of guys at half-time being ill through heat stroke. We enquired about the kick-off being a little bit late just to get the best out of the players but it wasn't to be."

The 39-year-old added: "Factors like the heat really set us back a little bit and I just think it could probably be addressed better.

"I think after today it probably will be addressed but again, it's about the welfare of the players. That's what matters… the players are the ones out there putting their necks on the line."

FFA's heat policy is a perennial issue in the A-League, with the Australian summer often producing intense temperatures.

The policy doesn't focus simply on the ambient temperature, however, as the FFA uses the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) to measure the risk to the players.

The WBGT takes into account humidity, cloud cover, solar radiation, wind, shade and the time of day.

A reading of 28 degrees Celsius on the WBGT scale is the threshold when the FFA Heat Policy suggests delaying kick-off should be considered and team doctors are consulted in any situation.

According to a statement from FFA on Monday, the WBGT reading at kick-off for the Adelaide versus Wellington match was 25.6.

Adelaide coach Guillermo Amor refused to get involved with the issue.

"They [FFA} put the game, we play," he said.

"They say we play tonight eight o'clock, we play at eight o'clock. If they say we play tomorrow, Monday, we play Monday.

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"In this case, we don't have an opinion."

Last season, FFA delayed a W-League and A-League double-header in Adelaide by two-and-a-half hours due concerns about the heat.

 

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