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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jun 12, 2006

FIFA to close Frankfurt roof for Korea match

BERLIN, June 12 (Reuters) - The roof will be closed at Frankfurt's Waldstadion for Tuesday's Group G match between South Korea and Togo, FIFA confirmed on Monday.

Despite temperatures well over 30 Celsius (90 Fahrenheit) across Germany, the roof will be shut to help eradicate distracting shadows from the roof which are spoiling television images for billions of viewers across the world.

FIFA's director of communications Markus Siegler confirmed at its regular briefing for journalists in Berlin that the Frankfurt stadium roof would be shut and that football's governing body are also considering closing Gelsenkirchen's roof.

The South Korea-Togo match kicks off at 1500 local time and the next match at Gelsenkirchen between Argentina and Serbia & Montenegro takes place at the same time on Friday.

'We have spoken to experts who say that it will also be cooler for the spectators inside if we provide shade,' said Siegler. 'So the roof at Frankfurt will be closed and we are considering the situation at Gelsenkirchen.'

However a leading German weather forecaster, Joerg Kachelmann, warned against making such a move with the weather being so hot.

Kachelmann, the chief meteorologist for Germany's leading ARD television public television network said: "It would be a massive greenhouse inside if they close the roofs on days like those coming up with temperatures rising well above 30 degrees.

'It would be a killer having the roof closed above, with the massive crowds inside. If they had air conditioning it would be a good idea. But without air conditioning, it would become very hot inside those stadiums.'

FIFA confirmed that fans will not be allowed to take plastic bottles containing drinks into the stadiums for security reasons.

FIFA also said that players must drink plenty of water during matches, but that it would not sanction water breaks or stoppages in the game.

Siegler said: 'FIFA is actively encouraging players to drink water, provided by FIFA and handed to the players. But it is not allowed for water bottles to be thrown on the pitch.'

The English FA were concerned that the referee in charge of their match against Paraguay on Saturday did not allow the players to have water when they wanted it.