Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Heat Is on; England in UEFA Plea for Crunch Swiss Game

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

The Heat Is on; England in UEFA Plea for Crunch Swiss Game

Article excerpt

Byline: KEN DYER

ENGLAND have made a special appeal to UEFA for extra water to be provided for their players at pitchside during this afternoon's crucial clash against Switzerland.

The teams face each other in Coimbra, a university town said to be the hottest place in Portugal.

Temperatures are expected to reach 95 degrees fahrenheit this afternoon and there have already been dehydration problems for several players from other teams during games that kick-off at 5pm.

The Football Association's request for water bottles to be placed all around the pitch, rather than just in the technical area in front of the dugout, was being made at a UEFA meeting today.

England had the same arrangement for their first Euro 2004 Group B match against France and so expect to receive a positive reply.

FA spokesman Adrian Bevington said: "We made a special request on Sunday to have the bottles placed around the pitch and I am sure they will agree to it again, although it is not part of the regulations."

The last time England played in similar heat was during the World Cup quarterfinal against Brazil two years ago but Sven-Goran Eriksson said today: "It was more humid in Japan and the players will be able to cope this time."

The England coach added: "It is very important that they drink and keep drinking. They will start three hours before the game, at 2pm. They need to consume two litres, one of which must be before the game.

"The expert medical advice is that, if you lose two per cent of your body weight during a match, you are 20 per cent down on your performance."

England coach Eriksson looks certain to recall John Terry after the Chelsea defender missed the first game with a hamstring injury.

Eriksson described Ledley King's performance in the 2-1 defeat against France as "fantastic" but will go back to his first choice pairing of Terry and Sol Campbell against the Swiss. …

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