'All games should be at night this time of year', says Austin

Melbourne Victory winger Mitch Austin said the A-League should schedule only night games through the hottest part of summer to protect the players against extreme conditions.

Austin

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He said such a move would also ensure the fans wouldn't have to watch games in which the quality was affected because players had to slow down to cope with the heat.

"It's obviously not ideal at all for players to play in extreme heat and it's not good for the fans and for people watching on TV, because it's not really a great game to watch.

"The players can't really run around as much as we'd like to."

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"I don't think anyone likes to run around in 40-degree heat. None of the players I speak to enjoy playing in it and I don't think that's going to change any time soon." Austin told The World Game.

Asked if he thought every game through the hottest part of the summer should be scheduled at night, scrapping the 5pm and 5.30pm kick-offs in the meantime, Austin said: "That's what I'd prefer, 100 per cent.



"I think those kick-offs close to eight o'clock are perfect for everyone, really, and I don't know what the reasons are for the 5.30 ones, or five o'clock. Yeah, bit of a strange one.

"Maybe in the future they'll look at it. Hopefully something will happen."

FFA makes decisions on drinks breaks, kick-off delays and postponements based on the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature and a reading of 28 degrees is the point at which delays or postponements are considered.

Austin said the Victory players were glad their game against the Jets had been re-scheduled to avoid the sweltering temperatures on Saturday.

"Another two days before we play doesn't make much difference. It has worked out well and I'm sure it's the right decision."



The game between Newcastle Jets and Victory at McDonald Jones Stadium was originally scheduled for the 5.35pm slot on Saturday, but Football Federation Australia announced on Thursday that it had been moved to a 7.50pm kick-off on Monday.

Friday night's game between Adelaide United and Perth Glory at Coopers Stadium, originally scheduled for a 7.20pm local time kick-off, was delayed by an hour because of the extreme heatwave conditions currently rocking Australia.

That followed on from the W-League semi-final between Canberra United and Melbourne City in the capital being delayed from 2pm to 8pm last Sunday and reports that some Wellington Phoenix players suffered heatstroke during the A-League game against Adelaide United on January 29.

Wellington officials had asked FFA to delay the scheduled 4.30pm local time kick-off of that game in Adelaide because the temperature was 38 degrees, but the request was denied.


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3 min read
Published 11 February 2017 at 4:02pm
By Greg Prichard