‘The heat is on for refs’

WORLD Cup referees have been given a stark warning ahead of Qatar hosting the world’s biggest football tournament in 2022.

A study by the University of Bedfordshire has found that referees and goalline decisions can be adversely affected by very hot or very cold temperatures.

The research was funded by UEFA, the governing body for European football.

Professor John Brewer, director of sport at the university, said: “These findings have serious implications for the performance of referees and goalline officials who are officiating in challenging climatic conditions.

“We need to look at ways to help them cope with the conditions that they will face. It could be argued that this even lends further weight to the argument in favour of goalline technology in important matches.”

The 2022 World Cup will be the second time the tournament has been held in Asia and the first time it has been hosted by a Middle Eastern country.

According to Qatar’s World Cup bidding team, the country has technology to reduce temperatures inside the stadiums from 45 to 25 degrees Celsius.

However Professor Brewer still said it was important for officials to cool down before matches and at half-time, and for them rehydrate during games.

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