Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) Chief Executive Adam Vivian has called on Football Federation Australia (FFA) to ensure Perth Glory and Adelaide United players are provided with a safe workplace for today’s round 14 A-League clash at NIB Stadium by further delaying the rescheduled kick-off.

With forecasts predicting temperatures in excess of 40° Celsius, the kick-off was rescheduled to 5.30pm.

The FFA heat policy has an established heat-monitoring system for every A-League game based on the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT). The WBGT takes into account factors such as humidity and is the accepted standard by which to measure the impact of heat on individuals.

FFA’s policy is consistent with the standard of the American College of Sports Medicine and ensures a significantly safer approach than FIFA’s heat policy, which sees cooling measures such as water breaks and postponements only considered at much higher WBGT temperatures.

“The weather for today’s match is predicted to be potentially above what is deemed extreme risk of injury, 28° WGBT,” said Vivian. “Accordingly the PFA has engaged in discussions with FFA and the clubs throughout the days leading up to the match regarding player welfare. With the Perth players having played in extremely tough conditions against Melbourne Victory just three days earlier and then endured the long journey back to Perth, the PFA felt this match warranted particular attention.

“Both the Adelaide and Perth players have expressed their concerns regarding the potential for the match to be played in conditions that pose a serious risk to both their health and safety as well as the quality of play. These concerns were relayed to FFA however; they have not yet been heeded to the extent the players desire.

“Whilst the PFA acknowledges that FFA’s Heat Policy is superior in terms of health and safety than that of FIFA’s this match should be further delayed. The PFA and the players understand the commercial realities associated with the broadcast times, however this should never come at the cost of players’ health and safety or their ability to perform at their best.

“The players are also extremely mindful of the vital role fans play in creating the A-League’s unique atmosphere and understand the discomfort they experience when supporting their team in extreme conditions, which are likely for today’s match.

“The PFA has long maintained that no A-League matches should kick-off before 6pm local time, when the chance of extreme heat is much higher. In the past two seasons our members have competed in numerous matches where the WBGT was in the high to very high range, with the vast majority of these matches having kicked-off prior to 6pm local time.

“As a result of this our members have suffered a number of heat related illnesses, including vomiting, headaches, sunburn and in some cases excessive weight loss due to fluid loss.

“The PFA will continue to work closely with experts in the field, and their expertise will continue to guide our position on the heat policy and our discussions with FFA.

“The PFA and players firmly believe that a world leading heat policy is fundamental in ensuring football is Australia’s safest sporting workplace, enabling the code to better attract and retain the countries top athletes.”