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FIFA guard players against extreme conditions

Tokyo, Dec 16: FIFA have taken steps to protect players from so-called extreme conditions in international competitions.

FIFA approved a ban on international matches staged at stadiums over 2,750 metres above sea level without acclimatisation during an executive committee meeting on Saturday."It was decided after talks with FIFA's medical committee that international games should not be played above 2,750 metres unless there is adequate time to acclimatise," Blatter told reporters after the meeting in Tokyo, held on the eve of the Club World Cup final between AC Milan and Boca Juniors."We are not saying it is forbidden to play games above 2,750 metres but that there should be adequate time to acclimatise," Blatter added, without giving details as to how much acclimatisation would be required.

Soccer's world governing body originally introduced a controversial ruling forbidding games in FIFA competitions being played at more than 2,500 metres in May following concerns expressed by its medical committee over the health of visiting players and over possible unfair advantages for the home side.

However, the limit was raised to 3,000 metres a month later after strong protests in South America.

A further exemption for the Bolivian capital La Paz, situated at 3,600 metres, was issued following a meeting to FIFA headquarters by the country's president Evo Morales.

One India

Story first published: Sunday, December 16, 2007, 15:04 [IST]
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