Colombia football’s first division has reversed an order for matches to take place at the hottest time of the day after sit-down protests by players.
Dozens of footballers sat down on the field before games last weekend [Saturday 9 April 2016] after championship organizer Dimayor ordered matches to take place between 10am and 4pm as part of a government initiative to save energy.
Colombian players’ union Acolfutpro filed a complaint to the Labour Ministry that said playing games when the temperature is as high as 40 degrees Centigrade was dangerous.
The union cited a paper by FIFPro chief medical officer Vincent Gouttebarge that said playing matches at temperatures over 38 degrees Centigrade are an “extreme” health risk.
It was not until April 13th, almost a month after unilaterally changing the match schedule, that Dimayor agreed to hold discussions with the union.
The Colombian union welcomed the return to the normal evening schedule the weekend after next.
“Acolfutpro thanks all our members for their commitment, union and solidarity in defense of professional football players in Colombia,” the statement said.