• The heat is on ... Perth Glory has been outspoken about this week's clash against Melbourne Heart (Getty Images)
An enraged Tony Sage has called for Sunday's clash between Perth Glory and Melbourne Heart in Albury to be called off with temperatures in the NSW border town forecast to hit 42 degrees.
By
SBS: Dave Lewis

7 Feb 2014 - 6:21 PM  UPDATED 8 Feb 2014 - 11:37 AM

Glory's outspoken owner said the 3pm (AEDT) fixture would place player's "lives at risk" and was in danger of breaching FFA's own Wet Bulb Globe Temperature index – the system it has adopted to determine whether it is safe to proceed with matches as the mercury peaks.

Turning the blowtorch on Football Federation Australia over what he labelled a "ludicrous and ridiculous" decision to schedule an afternoon kick-off "in a stadium in the middle of nowhere", Sage declared: "God knows why this game was arranged in the first place "¦ it should not go ahead to protect the players and match officials.

"Will it take somebody to die on the field for FFA to act? Going over there is an absolute nightmare for us and the game makes no sense whatsoever.

"I can see a situation where FFA will be forced to postpone it, which is right. But what would that then say about the league?

"I am staggered as to who in their right mind would come up with the idea of playing a game there? Not only that, the same person then picked us to fly across the country to be a part of it.

"If it had to go ahead then it should be have been scheduled for a 7pm kick off and FFA should have a chosen a team located in the east of the country to provide the opposition.

"Everybody knows it's incredibly hot in Albury (situated on the NSW-Victoria border) at this time of year, so why go there?

"I am sure nobody will turn up to watch it – and even if they do they will be huddled into a tiny stand that holds 1500 people."

The A-League is set to institute its heat policy for the match, which will mean a drinks break in each half.

Glory was involved in a spat with FFA after its 1-1 draw against Adelaide United in November, claiming the 32 degree heat at the 2.30pm kick-off time put players' welfare in peril, with several suffering vomiting, headaches, sunburn and excessive weight loss after the encounter.

FFA insisted the game was played in conditions that were "acceptable", according to its Wet Bulb Globe Temperature gauge.

"FFA follows a heat policy that was developed and implemented by the FFA Head of Medical Services, Dr Jeff Steinweg and which is consistent with the American College of Sports Medicine's Position Statement," Head of A-League Damien de Bohun said at the time.

"This policy is guided by the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) which takes into account the air temperature, humidity, wind, and radiation to provide a more accurate indicator of the risk of heat related injuries."

But Sage insisted: "I suspect conditions on Sunday will be unplayable, even under the WBGT guidelines. If FFA don't cancel it then it will be on their heads if a referee or any players succumb to heat exhaustion. The fixture really is an absolute joke."

The World Game approached FFA for a comment and was awaiting a response on Friday evening.

Meanwhile, mining magnate Sage scoffed at reports that his Perth offices had been raided for a second time by Australian Federal Police, insisting that three officers were delivering documents rather than rummaging through his premises in his on-going stoush with the Australian Tax Office.

"Somebody saw them enter my offices and phoned a radio station and the story got out, when in fact it was not a raid at all," he claimed.

"The ATO has been looking into my tax position for three years now and we are hopefully close to a resolution. When these people get hold of you, they get hold of you. Look how long it took Paul Hogan to resolve his issues with them!"