Measures will be taken to protect players in case of intense heat during the 2014 World Cup matches in Brazil, Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke said in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.
"When players need to hydrate themselves, the referee will be able to stop the match two or
three times, " he noted. "For us, the health of players and spectators is paramount."
Heat could become an issue, mainly in the major northern and northeastern cities where matches are scheduled, notably Manaus, Fortaleza, Natal and Recife.
In southern Brazil, this will be less problematic as the months of June and July are the coolest in the year.
Valcke however did not give a precise list of the anti-heat measures being contemplated, saying only they would be left at the discretion of referees depending on weather conditions on the day of the match.
"In France, Spain and Italy, players play in July and August, the hottest months (in Europe) with temperatures at times exceeding 36 degrees Celsius (96.8 degrees Fahrenheit) and most of them are used to it," the website of the O Estado de Sao Paulo daily quoted the Fifa official as saying.
The 2014 World Cup will be played from June 12 to July 13 in 12 host Brazilian cities: Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Cuiaba, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio De Janeiro, Salvador and Sao Paulo.