FIFA faces legal action over World Cup kick-off times

Rio de Janeiro, May 18 (IANS): Brazil's football players' association Fenapaf will be taking legal action against world organsation FIFA in a bid to shift lunchtime kick-offs during the World Cup slated June 12-July 13.

Fenapaf in a statement Saturday said a request for a court injunction would be submitted in Sao Paulo, Monday, reports Xinhua.

The action demands that each of the tournament's 24 games scheduled for 1 p.m. be shifted to 5 p.m.

"We have reached the conclusion that matches played between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in the north, northeast and central-west regions are a concern because they could affect players' health," Fenapaf's president Rinaldo Martorelli said in the statement. 

Fenapaf also wants a mandatory drinks break mid-way through each half. Currently any break in play will be at the discretion of the match referee.

According to Fenapaf, the action follows a study of players' body temperatures in the World Cup host cities of Brasilia, Manaus, Fortaleza and Sao Paulo conducted last June and July. 

"The temperature of some of the players exceeded 40 degrees Celsius," researcher Turibio Leite Barros said. "Any doctor will tell you that this presents an imminent risk."

The Amazonian city of Manaus has the highest average temperature in the period - 31 degrees celsius - followed by Cuiaba (30.7 degrees), Fortaleza (29.3 degrees), Natal (29 degrees) and Recife (28.8 degrees).

FIFA did not immediately comment on the matter. 

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Title: FIFA faces legal action over World Cup kick-off times

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