Manaus breaks were not necessary, claim FIFA

FIFA have claimed breaks were not deemed necessary in Italy's clash with England despite player reports of hallucinations due to the heat.

The heat and humidity in Manaus – deep in the Amazon Rainforest - made for uncomfortable conditions during Italy's 2-1 FIFA World Cup triumph on Saturday.

Italy midfielder Claudio Marchisio opened the scoring in the Group D clash before grabbing the headlines afterwards when claiming he felt he was having hallucinations.

Marchisio's coach Cesare Prandelli labelled the decision not to have breaks in the match as "madness" but when asked to respond, FIFA said the conditions were not oppressive enough to warrant a stop in play.

A FIFA spokesman told Perform on Sunday: "The health of the players is always the highest priority and FIFA's medical team is monitoring all venues carefully during the FIFA World Cup.

"There is a clearly defined procedure in place, which has also been communicated to the participating teams, whereby cooling breaks are implemented when the wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) exceeds 32 degrees (also taking into account additional factors such as the time of day, the amount of cloud cover, wind, humidity and stadium location).

"In the case of the England-Italy match, taking into account the conditions and the fact that the WBGT did not exceed 27 degrees over the course of the entire match, additional cooling breaks were not deemed necessary.

"It is also worth noting that the referee, using his common sense and with the safety of players in mind, may allow players to access water at the side line during natural stoppages in the game and in the case of the England-Italy match this was done."

Manaus will host three more matches at the Brazil showpiece, starting with Cameroon's meeting against Croatia on Wednesday.

The United States will play Portugal on June 22 at the venue, before Honduras face Switzerland three days later.