Portugal boss Paulo Bento (Getty Images)
SALVADOR, June 16: Portugal’s Paulo Bento has slammed FIFA for early kick-off times at the World Cup ahead of his side’s opening game against Germany at 1300 local time (1600 GMT) on Monday.
The Portugal coach said FIFA have not learnt from the 1994 World Cup in the USA when players had to endure the heat of the midday kick-off times in certain matches.
Of the World Cup’s 80 matches in total, 24 have a scheduled kick-off of 1300 local time in Brazil.
A daytime high of 28 degrees Celsius (82 Fahrenheit) is forecast at Salvador’s Arena Fonte Nova for the Group G opener and Bento said midday kick-offs are a bad idea.
“We talk about wins and losses in this tournament, but I believe the 1300 kick-off is a loss and I think we should have learnt the lesson from 1994 when it was also extremely hot,” he said.
“It’s not good for everybody, for the players and the fans.
“It’s not the best way to serve the players and they are most important.”
Portugal have another 1300 kick-off for their final group match against Ghana on June 26 in Brasilia, the same time and date when Germany play the USA in Recife.
Click here to see the FIFA World Cup 2014 Brazil Schedule
For FIFA World Cup 2014 news updates click here