Thankfully, temperatures in Australia are given in Celsius.
With the forecast for Melbourne calling for 41 C for the upcoming weekend, if the proper Fahrenheit scale were in use, temperatures of well above 100 could be expected.
The forecast is of concern to those who run the A-League, as anyone would be inclined to think that temperatures of the sort forecast are far too high to be playing soccer.
One approach under consideration is to move matches to later in the day, moved to other venues (indoors with refrigeration?), or postponed entirely. Those moves could also impact the W-League.
There are Victory and City games scheduled for the weekend in the A-League and City’s W-League also has a match scheduled.
Victory are supposed to host Central Coast in Geelong at 5:35 pm. That game could be pushed back, but how far? Two hours will hardly make a difference, but the powers that be typically hate to jigger things around on short notice in any instance and in this instance, the City of Geelong has a keen interest financially in the game. An entirely new date would throw a spanner into the Asian Champions League fixture.
Then, there are the broadcasters to consider. The A-League would need the blessing of Fox Sports and Channel 10 and let us face it, those who pay the piper call the tune, except in this case, getting a piper to play in those sorts of temperatures would make many believe that they were already experiencing an afterlife of eternal punishment.
City’s game is broadcast on both channels and the last thing the FFA wants is a scheduling conflict that might force TV fans to choose one or the other.
Not to sound callous, but player and spectator safety is also an issue. According to an FFA spokesperson, “If there is a risk to player or match official safety then matches will be delayed or postponed at the discretion of the Head of the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League in consultation with both clubs and the host broadcaster.”
Let us hope that cooler weather and heads prevail.