South Korea kickoffs put back for first time ever as heatwave strikes

Soaring temperatures in South Korea have led to K-League kickoffs being delayed. JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/GettyImages

Record-breaking temperatures that have caused 30 deaths in South Korea have forced the country's top-flight K-League to delay kickoffs until after sunset for the first time ever this weekend.

Temperatures hit 39.6 degrees Centigrade (103.28 degrees Farenheit) in the capital, Seoul, on Wednesday -- the highest since weather authorities began monitoring them in 1907.

Lee Jong-kwoun, a K-League public relations official, told Reuters that, after discussions with the clubs, it had been agreed to push back kickoff times.

"We don't have a specific temperature guideline, but with the heatwave continuing for more than a week we made the decision for the sake of the players' health and for the safety and convenience of spectators," Lee said.

He added it was unlikely that games would be cancelled and said there were already special measures in place to allowed referees to give players water breaks in extreme heat.