W-League semi rescheduled over heat fears
FOOTBALL Federation Australia has bowed to pressure by rescheduling its W-League semi-final between Canberra United and Melbourne City.
Players had raised concerns after 37-degree temperatures were forecast in the nation's capital.
The match was scheduled for 1pm on Sunday (AEST) at GIO Stadium as the curtain-raiser to the A-League clash between the Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United, which will start at 4pm.
The game, between last year's champion City - led by coach and midfielder Jess Fishlock - and this season's minor premier Canberra, will now be played at 7pm (AEST) to "ensure the match is played at a safe and acceptable level”, the FFA announced.
"This decision has been made well before the match to allow players, coaches, members, fans and broadcasters to best prepare for the delay in timing,” it added.
A-League players suffered heatstroke last weekend during Adelaide's match with the Wellington Phoenix.
In a subsequent survey by Professional Footballers Australia, 93% believed that the match, played in 38.7-degree heat, should have been delayed.
"In extreme situations, we would urge player feedback be sought prior to the match,” PFA chief executive John Didulica said.
"Last week we saw a clear disconnect between the objective measures and the reality the players faced.”
Perth Glory and Sydney FC will square off in the other W-League semi-final on Saturday night at nib Stadium, with a spot in next Sunday's grand final up for grabs.
The hosts will be hot favourites, with the Sky Blues having suffered two defeats to end the home and away rounds.