Sweden vs Canada women’s Olympic gold medal match is set to be rescheduled from 11 a.m. local time to 9 p.m. The match is moved to another time due to player concerns about the scorching midday heat in Tokyo, where temperatures can reach 30 degrees Celsius.
With the final being moved from Tokyo’s National Stadium to Yokohama’s International Stadium there will also be a last-minute venue change, due to complaints about the playing surface.
The National Stadium, which was built on the site of Tokyo’s original Olympic stadium in 1964, has been the focal point of The Games this summer, hosting athletics since last weekend. The field has been pockmarked by days of javelin, discus, hammer, and shot put events, causing it to deteriorate in condition for a football play.
Both teams were concerned about the health and safety of their players in the heat, as well as the pitch’s quality, according to the Guardian. Players would have had to adjust to a significant schedule change in terms of their preparations if the final had taken place at 11 a.m. as planned. As all previous matches in the competition had taken place between 4.30 p.m. and 8.30 p.m. local time.
As per football news reports, the original 11 am broadcast time was chosen in response to requests from American broadcasters who wanted to show the match on prime time TV back home – the time difference would have resulted in a 10 pm kick-off in the US.
At these Olympics, the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) were heavy favourites to win gold. It has named a squad full of World Cup winners. However, they struggled from the start, losing heavily to Sweden in their first game and eventually being eliminated by Canada in the semi-finals.