The FFA has announced plans to release heatproof suits to help A-League clubs combat harsh weather during the summer. Teams such as Perth Glory and Wellington Phoenix have played in scorching heat during recent rounds, with drink breaks required to keep the players hydrated. This has resulted in lower quality matches due to the reduced tempo of play, as well as a sharp spike in crotch rash injuries, with some cases so severe they may yet rule players out for the rest of the season.
“We’ve listened to the overwhelming feedback over the past few weeks and are excited to announce this initiative. It highlights our continuous efforts to improve the state of the game with creative ideas not seen anywhere else in the world,” an FFA spokesperson explained. “This is much more practical than changing fixture dates and times as it will not impact fan travel arrangements nor strain our financial relationship with Fox Sports.”
The suits, which will be crafted from heat-resistant fabrics, will allow players to perform in temperatures of up to 45 degrees Celsius. Other uses for the suits have also come into consideration, with referees and journalists claiming they need relief from the hot air vented their way by coaches. Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold has volunteered to stress test any and all suits to provided to players, referees or journalists.
When asked the source of budgeting for this project the FFA spokesman reassured FMF that “the money has been gathered from less important projects such as goal-line technology, the introduction of full-time referees, and the expansion of the A-League.”