Football Australia to crack down on drink breaks used for TV adverts
Football Australia will crack down on drink breaks used to air TV adverts during A-League games, with the boss of its referees pledging to review how the breaks were used and whether they comply with FIFA and club regulations. the International Football Association Board.
Australian professional leagues, owners and operators of the A-League, and broadcaster Network Ten have been accused of interrupting play for up to 90 seconds for drink breaks, in each half of matches on free-to-air TV, of so that TV commercials can be shown.
As revealed by Herald A-League clubs and coaches were told on Friday that drink breaks could be used during Saturday night matches for commercial purposes. This practice is at odds with the FA’s heat policy, which allows drink breaks when temperatures are above 26 degrees during a wet bulb test. FIFA regulations for internationals allow drink breaks for matches played at temperatures above 32 degrees.
A number of dodgy A-League drink breaks are under the FA’s microscope, including two used in Sydney FC’s 1-1 draw with Western United last weekend – a game played at night, in temperatures cool and heavy rain.
FA chief referee Nathan Magill confirmed the use of drink breaks would be reviewed by the organization and suggested they would no longer be permitted for matches in cooler conditions, especially as the season enters in autumn.
“We will review internally with the refereeing team how this aligns with the laws of the game and will likely pivot in that direction,” Magill said. “Our job is to really enforce those laws and make sure they’re in line with the IFAB and FIFA.
“We will reassess as the weather changes from a refereeing perspective and work with the medical team to find out if these breaks are necessary.”
Under FIFA and IFAB regulations, the conditions for authorizing drink breaks are not clearly specified in Article 7 of the Laws of the Game, relating to the duration of a match. Drink breaks are normally reserved for natural breaks in play, such as a stoppage to treat an injured player, or forced stoppages of up to 90 seconds for games played in high temperatures.