Heat breaks to be used at Cup of Nations

Cairo (AFP) –


Matches at this year's Africa Cup of Nations will feature three-minute breaks in each half due to extreme heat, the competition's medical committee announced.

The continent's flagship tournament is being held in June and July for the first time, with temperatures in host country Egypt expected to hover between 35 and 38 Celsius (95-100.4 Fahrenheit) over the next month.

Humidity will also range from 40% to 60% resulting in a wet bulb globe temperature -- which assesses the effects of heat, humidity, sunlight and wind -- of above 32 degrees.

"It is certain that most teams will be aware of this and will train accordingly," CAF said in a statement.

"At this level, FIFA recommends three-minute rest and refreshing breaks in the 30th and 75th minutes."

Coolers with crushed ice and drinks, as well as cold, wet towels will be provided for the players and officials.

"It will also be necessary to prepare for any eventuality of emergencies. It will be important to be able to diagnose and treat heat-related illnesses, if they occur, on site," CAF added.

This will be the first 24-team Cup of Nations -- up from 16 -- and the timing has changed from January/February to June/July to avoid European club-versus-country clashes.