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Players' union sues FIFA over kickoff times

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 20, 2014 at 7:43 pm •  Published: May 20, 2014

SAO PAULO (AP) — The Brazilian federation of professional athletes is demanding FIFA change the start times of more than a third of World Cup matches because of the heat and humidity in Brazil.

The federation said Tuesday it filed a lawsuit asking FIFA to change kickoff times of all 24 matches that are scheduled for 1 p.m. local time. It wants all matches starting no earlier than 4 p.m. to avoid subjecting players to the "risks" of playing in "intense heat."

The federation based the request on local labor regulations and a study conducted by a renowned Brazilian sports doctor, Turibio Leite. The study was requested by the Brazilian athletes' federation and FIFPro, the international soccer players' union.

In a statement, the professional athletes' federation said that, as an alternative, it would accept that matches are stopped for two minutes in each half so players can take water breaks to get hydrated.

FIFA did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but it had already said that it would allow breaks depending on weather conditions.

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