Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

Switzerlan­d coach slams World Cup match ‘in the jungle’


Jan 9 (Reuters) - Switzerlan­d coach Ottmar Hitzfeld is angry that his team must play a World Cup match “in the middle of the jungle” and has described the scheduling as of the tournament in Brazil as “almost irresponsi­ble.” The Swiss will face Honduras in their final Group E game in Manaus, located in the heart of the Amazon rain forest, and also play France in Salvador, another tropical venue on the coast.

Hitzfeld, speaking on Germany's SWR radio, blamed commercial interests for the controvers­ial scheduling.

“In Salvador it's very hot, Manaus is much worse because you are playing in a humid, tropical climate, with 95 percent humidity, and a temperatur­e between 30 and 40 Celsius,” he said.

“I find it almost irresponsi­ble that one has to play football in such a place, in the middle of the jungle, in the middle of the Amazon region.” The German added: “I think the commercial side has taken precedence and I am not in agreement with FIFA.

“Brazil is a big country and you have to fly for five hours from ..... Salvador to Manaus and that is also a big strain for us.

“We have some meetings in the next few weeks with sport scientists, with doctors and physiother­apists, we have to assess this intensivel­y and prepare ourselves accordingl­y.” Teams at the World Cup will have to travel around the country for their group games, rather than remaining in single venue, a decision which means some will have to fly thousands of kilometres between matches.

Organisers have also been criticised for scheduling some matches at 1300 local time in tropical venues, with the world players' union FIF Pro among those who have complained.

 ??  ?? Ottmar Hitzfeld
Ottmar Hitzfeld

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