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Court orders FIFA to allow World Cup water breaks

Sunday, June 22, 2014

TERESOPOLIS, Brazil - A Brazilian court has ordered FIFA to introduce mandatory water breaks in World Cup matches when temperatures reach 32 degrees Celsius.

A labour court in the capital of Brasilia issued a temporary injunction saying the breaks are required near the 30th minute of each half so players can get hydrated. FIFA had said it would only implement the breaks when its medical staff considered them necessary.

The court said in a statement that the ruling was made after nearly two hours of failed negotiations involving FIFA and local prosecutors in an audience on Friday.

Brazil's players' union recently took legal action against FIFA to try to change the start times of more than a third of World Cup matches because of heat and humidity.

Prosecutors wanted the breaks to be implemented when the temperature reached 30 degrees Celsius, but the judge said that he would accept FIFA's limit of 32 degrees Celsius because it wasn't evident that the small difference would "endanger the players' health."

The judge said the injunction was needed because there was nothing assuring that FIFA would enforce its own guidelines.

"I think that obliging FIFA to enforce its own norm is not a measure that jeopardises the competition," judge Rogerio Neiva Pinheiro said in his ruling.

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