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Football players in the southern part of Brazil no longer have to play in intense heat. Judge Rafael da Silva Marquez has forbidden matches to be played when the temperature exceeds 35 degrees Celsius. The players’ union from Rio Grande do Sul had requested the judge to take action.


Last few weeks the heat in the southern part of Brazil has been intense. Recently, several players felt ill during a match played at 1700 hrs at 40 degrees Celsius. The heat even caused a tv analyst to collapse.  


Reason for judge Marques to intervene. Last week he prohibited games played between 1000 and 1800 hrs. This week he added that a match can not kickoff when the temperature on the pitch exceeds 35 degrees, even after 1800 hrs.


‘The referee must measure the temperature before the game’, explained Marques, judge in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. ‘If it's less than 35 degrees the match can start. If it's 35, 36 or more, the referee should wait until the temperature goes down. After 1930 hrs, as the sun is no longer so strong, play can go ahead. I think it's a measure for workers' health and we must think about that.’


Still, there will be games played before 1800 hrs. After Marques’ decision the Gaúcho football federation (FGF) and the players’ union of Rio Grande do Sul came to the agreement, that games in the Campeonato Gaúcho A and B can be played from 1700hrs or on special occasions from 1600 hrs if the temperature is below 35 degrees.


‘This agreement aims to meet some conditions in order to preserve the health of the athletes and enable the public to continue watching and cheering for their clubs in the biggest and most exciting competition in the state’, reacted both parties through a press release. The two best known teams playing in the Campeonato Gaúcho are Grêmio and Internacional.