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FIFA sticks with World Cup kickoffs times

December 3, 2013

COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil (AP) — FIFA says it won’t switch early World Cup kickoff times in tropical cities despite concern by the international players’ union.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter says the match schedule will remain as it was made in October 2011. He spoke Tuesday after a meeting of the governing body’s World Cup organizing committee.

Blatter previously suggested that 1 p.m. kickoff times could be re-evaluated in north-eastern coastal cities which experience tropical heat and humidity.

Fortaleza, Natal, Recife and Salvador will host a total of seven matches starting at 1 p.m. local time, including a knockout game in the second round.

FIFPro, the international players’ union, had formally asked FIFA to consider moving the matches to later in the day.