rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » FIFA could rethink midday World Cup starts, Blatter says

FIFA could rethink midday World Cup starts, Blatter says

November 23, 2013 20:29 IST

FIFA could reconsider its controversial decision to schedule some of next year's World Cup matches at midday in tropical venues, the body's president Sepp Blatter suggested on Friday in an apparent U-turn.

Blatter said FIFA has received a number of appeals to rethink its decision which has angered, among others, the world players' union FIFPro.

"That is a good question, I will take up the question again, we will have a meeting of not only the organising committee but the FIFA executive committee and (in December) in Salvador (Brazil)," he told reporters.

"We have received different pleas, letters and demands concerning the time schedule which has been established but which has not yet been sanctioned," he said. "We will speak on that."

Last year, Blatter shrugged off criticism of the scheduling which would mean matches being played in the hottest part of the day.

"The history of football has shown that great players can play in all conditions," he said then.

"In Mexico in 1970 and 1986, we played at high noon, at 2,400 metres and the quality of the game did not suffer.

"You know that in difficult conditions you can stop the game, you can cool down, and have drinks. You will remember 25 years ago, the referees said it was forbidden to drink water during the matches and now all that has been changed."

Although the June 12-July 13 World Cup will take place in southern Brazil's winter, tropical conditions will prevail in the north of the country where two matches in each of Natal, Salvador and Recife have been scheduled for 1300 local time, plus one in Fortaleza.

There will also be two 1500 kickoffs in Manaus, in the heart of the Amazon rain forest.

Source:
© Copyright 2013 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.