The Tokyo 2020 women’s Olympic soccer gold medal match between Canada and Sweden has been moved from its 11 a.m. local time on Friday (10 p.m. ET, Thursday) start to 9 p.m. local time (8 a.m. ET, Friday) after both teams expressed concern about playing in the Japanese heat.
The host city for the match was also switched from Tokyo to Yokohama.
Trackside temperatures hit 40 degrees during the week and are expected to be around 36 degrees when the players take to the pitch on Friday.
The Swedish Football Association confirmed on Wednesday it had written to the International Olympic Committee with Canada to request the move.
“I myself have been in contact with FIFA today and written to them, so that’s about where the situation is today,” head of Sweden’s women’s football team 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.”
Sweden qualified for the gold medal match after beating Australia 1-0 in the semifinal while Canada beat the United States women’s national team for the first time since 2001 to secure their place.