Canada supports changing gold-medal match time vs. Sweden due to heat

Canada players celebrate their second goal against England during an international friendly soccer match on April 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

Canada is hoping for a change in scheduling for Friday's women's final vs. Sweden at the 2020 Olympic Games due to concerns about sweltering temperatures in Tokyo.

Per Reuters, both countries have asked Olympic organizers to move the tilt, which is slated for 11 a.m. local time, to avoid hot and humid weather in Japan's capital. Tokyo has seen temperatures over 30 C every day for the past week and is expected to hit a high of 32 C on Friday, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency. A number of competitors at the 2020 Games have dealt with heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

"I myself have been in contact with (soccer governing body) FIFA today and written to them, so that's about where the situation is today," Sweden's head coach Marika Domanski Lyfors told reporters.

"It is primarily about the players' health we're thinking about and trying to change the time of the game. There's a pretty big difference between playing in the afternoon or evening, and we are very much exposed to the warmth and heat," she added.

It's a sentiment echoed by Canada.

"Canada Soccer is also in support of changing the kick off time of the gold-medal match at the Tokyo 2020 women's Olympic football tournament to ensure the health and safety of our players," the organization said in a statement.

Reuters reports the Swedish Football Association has reached out to the International Olympic Committee along with Canada to see if the game can be moved.

Practice time on Thursday was confirmed for 11:00 a.m. local time which is when the game is scheduled to be played on Friday in Tokyo.

Canada will capture a third straight Olympic medal Friday vs. Sweden, regardless of the outcome, after finishing third at both the 2012 London Games and four years later in Rio de Janeiro.

Canada has a 5-14-4 record in matches against Sweden.

With files from The Canadian Press

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