With temperatures touching 31 degrees Celsius yesterday, the Mumbai Schools Sports Association (MSSA) was forced to introduce two water breaks in each half of the girls' U-16 inter-school football Division I and Division II semi-finals, played at Cooperage.
Girls from Dhirubhai Ambani International School quench their thirst during the water break at Cooperage yesterday. Pic/Suresh KK
According to MSSA regulations, half-time for each U-16 girls' match is after 25 minutes. However, with the heat getting unbearable yesterday MSSA football secretary Sebastian Fernandes instructed the referees to give the players four-minute breaks in each half after 15 minutes of play.
"Keeping in mind the scorching conditions, we decided to give the girls two additional breaks in each match like we did last year. We wanted to prevent a scenario where the girls would suffer a heatstroke and fainted on the pitch," Fernandes told mid-day yesterday.
All the coaches and the players present at Cooperage lauded the move. Mary Immaculate Girls High School beat Jamnabai Narsee (IGSCE), Juhu 8-0 in the girl's U-16 Division II semi-final match. Valencia D'Mello scored three goals for the Borivli outfit while Karen Pais and Naomi Fernandes scored two goals each and Angela Rumao scored one.
In the semi-final of the MSSA girl's U-16 Division I, Dhirubhai Ambani International School registered a 2-0 win over St Anne's High School (Fort) with Ananya Thakur and Janavi Khadiravan scoring a goal each.