You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

FFA refutes Phoenix's heatstroke claim

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 30/01/2017 Emma Kemp

Alex Rodriguez and Vince Lia of Wellington Phoenix compete for the ball during the round 17 A-League match between Adelaide United and the Wellington Phoenix. © Morne de Klerk/Getty Images Alex Rodriguez and Vince Lia of Wellington Phoenix compete for the ball during the round 17 A-League match between Adelaide United and the Wellington Phoenix. Football Federation Australia has rejected Wellington's claims players suffered heatstroke during Adelaide's A-League scorcher and defended its call not to push back the mid-afternoon kick-off time.

The controversial issue of heat and player welfare again came under the spotlight on Sunday when the Phoenix and Reds struggled through a sweltering 2-2 draw at Coopers Stadium.

Despite drinks breaks at 15-minute intervals, one player vomited at halftime and another was disorientated as the mercury climbed to nearly 40 degrees.

According to FFA, those conditions do not even warrant a drinks break under the rules let alone a delayed kick-off, as Phoenix coach Chris Greenacre said he'd requested the day prior.

The governing body said the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT), that takes in ambient temperature, relative humidity, wind, and solar radiation to measure the risk of heat-related injury or illness, was 25.6 degrees at kick-off - far lower than the 28-degree cut-off to shift a start time.

Though drinks breaks are generally allowed only once the WBGT pushes upwards of 26 degrees, FFA said A-League boss Greg O'Rourke, who was at the match, intervened to ensure they were included in "a further sign of FFA's interest in player welfare".

"This was all agreed and acknowledged by both teams," FFA said in a statement.

"FFA has since been informed by medical staff at the match that no players suffered heat stroke during the match."

Wellington insist the matchday doctor provided to them used the word "heatstroke" to diagnose at least one of their players.

Midfielder Vince Lia labelled it the hottest game he'd played across his 12 years in the A-League while Greenacre said his squad was "absolutely shattered".

"At the end of the day we are wanting to put a product out there for everybody," the coach said.

"For fans at home they want to see a high-tempo game, lots of opportunities and I think factors like the heat really set us back a little bit.

"It could probably be addressed better after today, it probably will be addressed I think.

"It's about the welfare of the players, that is what matters.

"Supporters will always come to the games and we're concerned of their welfare; the players are the guys out there that are really putting their necks on the line."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon