Football Federation Australia (FFA) has today made the decision to move the A-League match between Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Victory from Saturday afternoon (5.35pm) to Monday night, in line with the FFA Heat Policy.
New South Wales is expected to experience extreme heatwave conditions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning and a decision was taken to move the match following today’s updated forecast indicates that the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) will be around 34.3 at the scheduled kick off time.
The FFA Heat Policy states that drinks breaks should be implemented if the WBGT is between 26 and 27.9 with consideration to delay and postponement if it exceeds 28.
The match will now kick off at 7.50pm at McDonald Jones Stadium (Newcastle) on Monday night (13 February) to ensure player safety was adhered to under the FFA Heat Policy.
“Today’s forecast leaves no doubt that the conditions on Saturday in Newcastle will be significantly above the thresholds we have in place under the FFA Heat Policy so we have made the decision to move the Newcastle v Melbourne Victory match to Monday night,” said head of A-League Greg O’Rourke.
“Taking into consideration the obvious player welfare concerns as well as the need to give players, teams and fans the best possible opportunity to plan for the match, moving the match to Monday night is the only decision we could make.
“We have spoken to both clubs who have welcomed the decision.”
Newcastle Jets head coach Mark Jones said that while the change is a “little bit inconvenient”, player welfare is of paramount importance.
“Player welfare is of utmost importance and we’ve had a few issues through the year not only in the A-League but also in the W-League, and we don’t want to put players at risk,” Jones said.
“It just means that we have a little bit extra time to prepare. It’s obviously a little bit inconvenient, but it is better than playing in 42 degree heat obviously.”
All other A-League matches and the W-League Grand Final are scheduled to go ahead as per the fixture.