39 days to go: Taking a break in Fortaleza

6 May 2018

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is getting closer – 39 days to go! Between now and the start of the World Cup, we will take a closer look at a different statistic from the history of the tournament each day.

39 degrees Celsius was the temperature at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza when Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca signalled the first cooling break in the history of the FIFA World Cup™, during the Round of 16 tie between the Netherlands and Mexico on 29 June 2014.

Prior to the tournament, FIFA had recommended introducing the measure to protect players’ health if the temperature exceeded 32 degrees during the course of a match, though the final decision would ultimately lie with the referee.

In line with tournament protocol, two three-minute breaks were ordered after approximately 30 minutes of play in each half, with the referee adding three minutes of stoppage time at the end of each half.

The match proved to be an exciting one, with the Mexicans going out of the competition after a dramatic finale.