Africa’s football governing body Confederation of Africa Football (CAF) announced the application of water breaks during games at the 2019 Total Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt as a means to combat rising temperatures in the Arab nation.
According to CAF, every game will be accorded to three-minute breaks in the 30th and the 75th minutes so as to allow the players to cool down.
“The average (dry) temperature in June/July is expected to be between 35 and 38 degrees Celcius, with an average humidity of 40 to 60 percent,” the statement from CAF reads.
“This would give a high WBGT (Web Bulb Globe) temperature of 32 degrees Celsius. It is certain that most teams will be aware of this and will train accordingly,” the statement continues.
These breaks were introduced during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil where FIFA allowed them in some games that were played in areas of higher temperatures in order to allow players and match officials get refreshed on the pitch.
“Cooling breaks last three minutes in duration are then implemented by the referee at approximately 30 minutes into the run-of-play in both halves of the match (i.e. around the 30th minute and 75th minute respectively).”
“Three minutes will then be added to stoppage time at the end of each half,” CAF noted.
CAF have already prepared logistics for each game which consists of cold containers on wheels to put crushed ice, drinks for referees and small towels for 26 people, the four referees and 22 players on the pitch.
The contingency of emergencies specifically the diagnosis and treatment of heart-related illnesses if they arise are also prepared.
The tournament begins on Friday June 21st with hosts Egypt taking on Zimbabwe at Cairo International Stadium.