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Monday, Aug 26, 2019

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Humidity, dehydration causes concern among teams

Teams like Brazil and Spain among others have been struggling with the humidity during the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.

fifa-u17-world-cup-2017 Updated: Oct 09, 2017 18:01 IST
Bhargab Sarmah
Bhargab Sarmah
Hindustan Times, Kochi
Teams have been struggling with the humidity in cities like Kochi in the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Teams have been struggling with the humidity in cities like Kochi in the FIFA U-17 World Cup.(AFP)

It has been an eventful start to Group D of the FIFA U-17 World Cup here. Brazil’s 2-1 win over Spain in a thrilling encounter on Saturday was the perfect curtain-raiser for fans who had been eagerly waiting for the city’s tryst with the mega tournament.

The game was followed by World Cup debutants Niger notching a historic 1-0 win over North Korea at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

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Like Niger, it was a memorable World Cup debut for Kochi, a venue whose fate had been uncertain until a few weeks before the event.

While all the four teams in the city have expressed satisfaction with the facilities available, high levels of humidity have caused serious concerns.

Niger coach Tiemogo Soumalia had summed up the weather conditions after his team’s win, saying, “It’s hot in our country, but it’s not the same here. It’s hot as well as humid, which is a problem.”

The Niger team spokesperson told Hindustan Times that the players are being constantly advised by their dietician to help them adapt to the humid conditions.

The coaches of Brazil and Spain had expressed concerns after the opening game too.

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“It was unbearable. I was sweating like I had played the whole match. I had to take a shower before coming here,” Carlos Amadeu, the Brazil tactician, had said at his post-match press conference.

Spain coach Santiago Denia too said team doctors were at work, trying to help out the players.

“Humidity played a part (in our loss). We have been here for four days. We will try to adapt and are working with our doctors to address the issue of dehydration,” Denia had told reporters.

Brazil and Niger will play their final group game in Goa, where weather conditions, in terms of heat and humidity, aren’t expected to be very different from Kochi.

As per weather forecasts, humidity will remain above 75 percent during the next two match days in Kochi, while in Goa, it is expected to go down to around 70 percent by the second match day.

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Moreover, the team that wins Group D will be playing its Round of 16 game in Kochi.

Unrelenting weather have caused a few headaches in other cities too. In Kolkata, Chile have been monitoring the weights and urine densities of players before and after training, in light of the hot and humid conditions.

“We can get hot weather in Chile but the humidity is low,” team doctor Cesar Kalazich had earlier said. “We know they didn’t adjust completely but at the same time, it wasn’t that much of a shock.”

With the weather in the coming days unlikely to bring any respite, especially in Kochi, other teams will be looking to step up their efforts to try and minimise its effect on players.

The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here will play host to a Round of 16 match on October 18, four days before a quarterfinal match, which will bring down the curtains on FIFA U-17 World Cup matches in Kochi.

First Published: Oct 09, 2017 18:00 IST

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