May 21, 2014, 7:56 PM EDT
With heat and humidity talking points in both Brazil and in the upcoming 2022 Qatar World Cup, the Brazilian players’ union has filed a lawsuit against FIFA over match start times this summer.
However, the world governing body say they will not change the start times, something they claim has been researched and analyzed for two years.
The World Cup has already introduced drink breaks into the matches, but has not made them mandatory, saying the cooling breaks will be added or not based on the conditions for each individual match.
The players union says FIFA must make cooling breaks mandatory, as well as change the start times to later in the day, or player safety will suffer due to “intense heat.”
“FIFA’s medical team is always monitoring carefully all venues during any FIFA competition to protect the players’ health,” FIFA said in a statement.
FIFA did last year alter the start times of seven matches in the most climates most widely affected by extreme heat and humidity.
“One core aspect in defining the kickoff times was the very thorough analysis of the historical climate data in all venues,” FIFA said. “Therefore, the venues with the highest average temperatures such as Manaus, Cuiaba and Fortaleza do not have any matches with 1 p.m. kickoff times during group stage.”
The United States is scheduled to play Portugal at the Arena da Amazonia (pictured) in Manaus, a hot and humid city in the middle of the Amazon rainforest of which many countries were outspoken about their hopes not to get scheduled there.
The match between the US and Portugal will kick off at 7:00pm local time (6:00pm ET).
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