FIFA announce World Cup water break plans

Water breaks will be used at this year's FIFA World Cup if health professionals deem conditions in Brazil to be dangerous.

Concerns have been raised around the heat in South America, especially at the Arena Amazonia in Manaus.

England meet Italy at the stadium in Group D in June, when the average temperature is 31 degrees with 83 per cent humidity, and Italy coach Cesare Prandelli had suggested introducing breaks to ensure players were able to take on fluids.

FIFA discussed that, and other proposals, in a meeting with the Brazilian government and the tournament's Local Organising Committee (LOC) on Saturday, and the governing body has now confirmed that every precaution will be taken to protect players' health.

"We don't think the conditions in Brazil will be as difficult as people are saying," FIFA's chief medical officer professor Jiri Dvorak said. "We can introduce extra water breaks and provide players with cold towels where necessary.

"But that's a medical decision that will be judged on a case by case basis, before each game, by our team of health professionals.

"We're very well prepared and will do everything we can to preserve players' health."

FIFA will also create a biological profile of each player at the World Cup through analysis of blood and urine samples taken before the tournament, while medical services will be on hand to deal with any problems that may occur on the pitch.

"We have created a standardised medical kit for first aid teams which includes an automated external defibrillator, equipment that could save lives on the field," LOC general medical coordinator Luis Fernando Correia added.

"We want the use of this device to become standard in Brazilian stadiums after the FIFA World Cup."