Tea and cream needed to combat Russian winter

BERNE - Hot tea, woolly underwear and face cream are essentials for footballers in the Russian winter where temperatures plunge to minus 15 degrees celsius, according to the players' international union.

The Russian season has traditionally avoided the worst of the cold but the expansion of European club competitions means matches are now played in December and February, two of the coldest months.

"Underpants, shorts, t-shirts must all be made from natural fabrics, preferably from wool, but at the very least from cotton," Lokomotiv Moscow's team doctor Savely Myshalov told the FIFPro's website.

"The same applies to gloves and hats. Apart from that, cheeks and noses need to be smeared with cream in order to prevent frostbite. During the breaks players need hot, sweet tea."

FIFPro said there were no regulations governing cold weather, although UEFA guidelines specified that minus 15 Celsius should be the minimum.