First published on Thu 5 Aug 2021 08.01 BST
The women’s Olympic football final has been moved to later in the day and switched to a different venue because of heat concerns.
The match between Sweden and Canada was scheduled to take place in the main Olympic Stadium in Tokyo and kick off at 11am local time on Friday. However, temperatures in the Japanese capital are expected to peak at midday at 32C and the game will now begin at 9pm and be staged in Yokohama.

It is understood that both teams were concerned for the health and safety of their players, as well as the state of the pitch. Fifa said the switch had been made “to provide the best possible conditions for the players and having taken into consideration the impact of weather conditions”.
The Sweden and Chelsea goalkeeper, Zecira Musovic, had tweeted her frustration regarding the proposed kick-off on the eve of the game. “To even consider playing a final at 11:00 local time in Japan is a direct danger to the players’ health due to extreme weather conditions,” she wrote.
The change was welcomed by Sweden’s manager, Peter Gerhardsson, who said: “It’s not just a good decision, it’s a very, very, very, very, very good decision!”
Canada’s Ashley Lawrence was also grateful for the alteration. “I know this group is so good at adapting so we were ready for the 11am kick-off,” she said. “But I think it’s great that we can play at 9pm. Just with the weather and for both teams, it’s going to make for a better game.”
As well as the heat the players would have had to deal with a schedule change with all matches before the final having kicked off between 4.30pm and 8.30pm local time.
It is believed the 11am kick-off was picked at the behest of broadcasters in the US who were keen to show the final on prime time TV. The USA, the world champions, lost to Canada in the semi-finals.


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