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d. "Its just basketball

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    January 2, 2018 7:06 AM +0330

    SAO PAULO, Brazil -- FIFA said Wednesday it is not considering changing kickoff times or adding mandatory cooling breaks during World Cup matches, despite being sued by Brazils players union because of health concerns. Jason Kasdorf Jersey . FIFA said it spent nearly two years analyzing starting times for the tournament in Brazil and always took into consideration the players health. The players federation filed a lawsuit this week to change kickoff times of the 24 matches scheduled to start at 1 p.m. local time (1600 GMT), saying players would be at risk because of intense heat and humidity in some venues. It said FIFA, at least, must introduce two-minute water breaks in each half during those matches. The players federation is asking for a temporary injunction against FIFA but theres no timetable on a ruling. "FIFAs medical team is always monitoring carefully all venues during any FIFA competition to protect the players health," footballs governing body said in a statement. "Cooling breaks will be considered on a match-by-match basis for the 64 matches. Official and mandatory cooling breaks will not be pre-established. Rather, climate conditions will be evaluated prior to each match by the FIFA venue medical officer." There were similar health concerns during the 1994 World Cup in the United states, when temperatures reached the mid-30s (Celsius) in some of the games. Extreme heat is also a problem for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with FIFA considering moving the tournament to winter to avoid the hot weather in the Gulf nation. FIFA said it already made the schedule changes it felt were needed in the Brazilian cities with the highest temperatures. It will be winter in Brazil during the World Cup, but it may be hot and humid in many of the 12 host cities, especially in the northeastern and northern regions. "One core aspect in defining the kickoff times was the very thorough analysis of the historical climate data in all venues," FIFA said. "Therefore, the venues with the highest average temperatures such as Manaus, Cuiaba and Fortaleza do not have any matches with 1 p.m. kickoff times during group stage." Seven matches had their kickoff times altered by FIFA last year. The players federation, known as Fenapaf, wants the changes based on local labour regulations and a study conducted by renowned Brazilian sports doctor Turibio Leite. The study was requested by Fenapaf and FIFPro, the international players union. "We have been trying to discuss this with FIFA for nearly two years and they wont even sit down to talk to us," federation president Rinaldo Martorelli told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "The only alternative was to seek legal action. We really hope that they make the changes in kickoff times, but if that doesnt happen, they need to at least make the cooling breaks mandatory." FIFPro did meet with FIFA last year to discuss the issue, although no direct action was taken at the time. FIFA said that defining the World Cup match schedule is a "complex process" that involves "detailed assessments" from experts in several areas, with players health the "highest priority." It said other considerations include travel logistics and the global television market. FIFPro last year accused FIFA of considering "the demands of TV companies of greater importance than the health and safety of the players." FIFA officially approved referees to implement cooling breaks in 2013, though water breaks were made during the final of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when Argentina beat Nigeria in grueling conditions at the Birds Nest. Alexander Mogilny Jersey . The game marks the rare occasion when two homegrown running backs, Jon Cornish of the Calgary Stampeders and Andrew Harris of the B.C. Lions, will start in the West Divisions battle for a Grey Cup berth. Evan Rodrigues Jersey . Dane Dobbie and Shawn Evans each had two goals and two assists for the Roughnecks (8-5), who outscored Minnesota 6-2 in the fourth quarter after being tied through 45 minutes. Curtis Dickson scored once and set up three more for Calgary and Dan MacRae, Geoff Snider, Tor Reinholdt, Karsen Leung and Matthew Dinsdale.NEW YORK -- Paul Pierce called the Miami Heat a juggernaut. He insisted they are still the team to beat. So yes, the Brooklyn Nets have plenty of respect for the two-time defending NBA champions -- and no fear. Pierce made that clear again Sunday, a day after the Nets Game 3 rout that cut Miamis lead to 2-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Brooklyn will try to even the series at home Monday night. "Youve got to have that type of mental ego against a juggernaut. You go against the best, a lot of series are won on fear factor, like, or non-belief. When you have that non-belief, then you have no chance," Pierce said after practice. "What I try to do in this locker room, or with my teammates, is just try to give them belief that we can beat this team. Theyre not unbeatable." The Heat had been in these playoffs until the Nets 104-90 victory on Saturday night. Miami hadnt even faced a fourth-quarter deficit, but was out of the game long before then after Brooklyn dominated the third quarter to build a huge lead. "The defeat was complete," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It was both sides of the basketball. "It was like trying to plug in holes in a leaking dam. There was so many things that were not in our favour really on both ends of the court." The Nets made 15 of 25 3-point attempts, outrebounded Miami 43-27, and limited LeBron James to two baskets over the final three quarters after he had 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the first. Brooklyn swept the regular-season series, though none of the games was anywhere near as easy as Game 3. Yet the four victories gave the Nets a confidence against the Heat that some other opponents may not have. "We just had a little success against them during the regular season. We played them well and we feel like we match up well wiith them," Nets guard Deron Williams said. Benoit Pouliot Jersey. "And if were on top of our game, were playing defence the way were capable of playing, like we did the last game, we put ourselves in a good position to win." Pierce did his part after the Nets were routed in Game 1, asking coach Jason Kidd to switch up the defence so he could guard James. And after he and the Nets did such a good job of it over the final three quarters of Game 3, Pierce said the Nets wanted to show the Heat that they werent scared of them. "Why should it be a fear factor?" James said. "Its just basketball. Were not trying to win a war here, its just basketball. Thats all it is. Were all grown men, who cares about whos fearing who? "Weve never been a team that talks. We dont get into that, and weve never been a bulletin board team. We just want to play the game the right way and we give ourselves a good chance to win if we play our type of basketball and last night we didnt do that." Miami had won its previous eight post-season games and followed every loss with a victory last year. To do that in this series, Spoelstra said the Heat would not only need better effort and urgency, but also more attention to the little details. Pierce is expecting that, as well as in Game 5 back in Miami on Wednesday night. Even though the Heat didnt look it Saturday, he believes they are just as good as the recent versions that ended his seasons in Boston. "Definitely. Theyre well-seasoned now. They know how to win," Pierce said. "Theyve won two championships, theres nothing they havent been through. So the one thing you always hear, its kind of a cliche, is never underestimate the heart of a champion, and you know thats what they have under their belts. 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