Players officially file lawsuit against FIFA, CSA over artificial turf at 2015 Women’s World Cup

Jeff Kassouf October 1, 2014 101
Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year, is among the group of players against turf at the 2015 Women's World Cup. She's seen here playing at BC Place in Vancouver, site of the World Cup final next July. (Getty Images)

Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year, is among the group of players against turf at the 2015 Women’s World Cup. She’s seen here playing at BC Place in Vancouver, site of the World Cup final next July. (Getty Images)

A lawsuit has officially been filed by a group of women’s international soccer players against FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association regarding the use of artificial turf at the 2015 Women’s World Cup. The players say that it is gender discrimination to not be playing on natural grass and that men would never have to play a World Cup on artificial turf.

The lawsuit was filed in an Ontario tribunal court on Wednesday. “This differential treatment constitutes a violation of section 1 of the Ontario Human Rights Code,” the lawsuit reads.

[Obtained by The EqualizerLawsuit  |  Letter to registrar  |  Request to expedite proceedings]

FIFA Deputy Director for Women’s Competitions Tatjana Haenni said on Tuesday that the 2015 World Cup will be played on turf and that “there’s no Plan B.” She is in Canada along with an independent group assessing the turf of all six venues to be used next year.

[MORE: Complete coverage of the 2015 Women’s World Cup Turf War]

Players first threatened FIFA and Canada Soccer with a lawsuit in late July, but wanted to give the organizations time to respond. The group says that playing a World Cup on artificial turf — what they say is an “inferior” surface” is discriminatory. Every senior men’s World Cup has been played on natural grass. Recent youth World Cups, including the 2014 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada last month, have been staged on artificial surfaces. All six venues for next year’s World Cup are slated to have artificial turf.

Among the players on the list are past and present FIFA World Players of the Year Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer (current title holder), U.S. forward Abby Wambach and Brazil’s five-time World Player of the Year Marta. Also named in the lawsuit are U.S. internationals Alex Morgan and Heather O’Reilly, Spain captain Veronica Boquete and France’s Camille Abily.

“It’s very disappointing that FIFA hasn’t really even acknowledged or given us any response to our statement,” Morgan told The Equalizer in September. “It seems like CSA and FIFA are kind of playing the blaming game. So we would like some sort of response and some sort of explanation, because I feel like it is taking a step backwards so hopefully we get the explanation sooner rather than later.”

Players have said that they will not boycott the World Cup.

A FIFA distributed survey from 2013 showed that 77 percent of players prefer the World Cup to be on natural grass.

Every men’s World Cup since 1930 has been played on natural grass. Youth World Cups, including the 2014 U-20 Women’s World Cup in August in Canada. The lawsuit points out that FIFA spent $2 million to install natural grass over artificial turf in Detroit and New Jersey for the 1994 men’s World Cup.

Hampton Dellinger, an attorney representing the players, released the following statement on Wednesday afternoon:

“Two months ago, attorneys for a coalition of leading players informed officials from the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) and FIFA that forcing the 2015 women’s World Cup to take place on artificial turf rather than grass was not only wrong but also constituted illegal sex discrimination. Men’s World Cup tournament matches are played on natural grass while CSA and FIFA are relegating female players to artificial turf. The difference matters: plastic pitches alter how the game is played, pose unique safety risks and are considered inferior for international competition.

Through public statements and private communications the players and their lawyers have clearly signaled to CSA and FIFA that we want to resolve the ‘turf war’ through good faith negotiations rather than litigation. CSA and FIFA have ignored these overtures. As a result, the players have no choice but to initiate the legal action filed today. Whatever happens in court, CSA and FIFA have lost any claim to being good stewards of the women’s game — until they correct their mistake.

After the spectacular success of World Cup 2011 and the 2012 Olympics, CSA and FIFA could help women’s soccer reach even greater heights. Instead, the leaders of CSA and FIFA are embarrassing the game and, even more, themselves. The gifted athletes we represent are determined not to have the sport they love be belittled on their watch. Getting an equal playing field at the World Cup is a fight female players should not have to wage but one from which they do not shrink. In the end, we trust that fairness and equality will prevail over sexism and stubbornness.”

  • Diane (DeeG)

    Pretty sad it’s had to come to this, but I back the players all the way. Even if they don’t prevail, a message is being sent to FIFA that the women will not stand by as FIFA tries to treat them as second class.

    • Steglitz49

      The court will enjoy its time in the lime-light. Hopefully it will benefit woso although it is hard to see how. If artificial surfaces are good enough for several leagues, including the NWSL of which the CSA with Mexico and the US is a cofounder, why is it not good enough for the WC? I can see the defense using that argument with quite some bite.

      One has to assume, that it is the CSA who will get it in the neck (which would be a good outcome) and FIFA will not be much affected. FIFA can switch the WC to any location with grass pitches. Anyone for the Ukraine, please raise their hands.

      • Defensor Judiciorum

        Too late to change venue. And the idea that because a pro league has some plastic pitches, then the women’s WC should have them too, is just illogical. Compare apples to apples: WC to WC. A WC for either sex has never been played on plastic.

        • FedUp

          In 2003 they moved the WWC from China to the US because of the SARS scare on 4 months’ notice. So it’s possible, though it would be far more efficient to do the right thing and seed grass over the turf as was done in Sweden for the 2013 Euros

          • JL

            And 4 months was plenty of time to put in grass over turf as they did in Portland in 03.

          • Steglitz49

            So, what is stopping the CSA?

      • Short_Change

        The only relevant comparison in this case are previous WWCs and the Men’s WWC. What surfaces players have experience playing on domestically carries no weight. Some of the players in African countries have played on dirt surfaces. This is the supreme tournament in the sport sanctioned by FIFA. It should reflect such.

        • kernel_thai

          And the other factor is the Mens WC already has awarded bids thru 2022 all on grass venues. If the time is now for a Cup on Turf how is it possible that then men wont be ready to jump on board at least for 12 more years?

          • FedUp

            And in 12 years–that’s 2026, folks–there undoubtedly will be turf
            technology far superior to the surfaces in Canada. So any claim that the
            women’s are getting equivalent pitches in 2015 is patently specious.

        • Steglitz49

          I hope you are right but the court may take a different view.

          Not only FIFA but the CSA seem jolly sanguine if not phlegmatic about this issue, which makes one wonder what trump they may have up their combined sleeves. Their defense counsels seem to have hit the ground snoring.

      • wosofan

        Turf not good enough for the men’s WC though. Not even good enough for CSA’s own men’s team, who refuse to play WC qualifiers on turf. It’s gender discrimination, plain and simple.

        • Steglitz49

          No lesser team than the German men’s NT have played some WC qualifiers on artificial surfaces.

          One assumes that when the time is ripe, the counsel for the defense will submit a list of major matches played on artificial surfaces, not least that recent semi-final in KC.

          • guest

            This is not just any game.Its the WORLD CUP you idiot!!!

          • Steglitz49

            Someone has to pay for the temporary grass. If the CSA are not willing some private person or organization is needed. One presumes that a sticking point is that awkward fact of “temporary” and in one of the world’s richest countries to boot.

    • witchrunner

      Although it’s been a while, I’ve played soccer on the fake stuff and there is no doubt that it alters the game. I hated it. It’s like playing on a concrete floor. It’s a lot harder than grass and it stings like (bleep) when you slide on it, not to mention actually going down hard.

      • Jeff Salmans

        Sounds like you played on the old stuff and not on field turf.

        • witchrunner

          Well, it was the astroturf stuff. Since they are talking about it not being “natural” grass, I assumed they were talking about the same thing, albeit perhaps slightly improved. If there’s something that much better, then I’m not aware of it. And, obviously, the women don’t believe it comes anywhere near natural grass.

          • Jeff Salmans

            Yeah, field turf is MUCH better than astroturf. Instead of a green brillo pad, it is simulated grass, with individual blades and a softer base. In fact, sliding on it is less abrasive than natural grass.

          • witchrunner

            Hmmmm…… sounds impressive. Who’d a thunk? Actually, if I weren’t doing an entirely edible garden/yard plan for next year, it sounds like it’d be the way to go for a yard! No mowing, no weeds, always green. Can’t beat that!

          • scottjez

            my daughter played on field turf, she was a goalie, her nickname is turfburn because her legs where covered by all the “less abrasive” burns on her legs from diving to block shots, by the end she wore over the knee socks and tights and sweats to not have and tucked in her goalie shirt to avoid all the field turf burns. The field turf looks better thand astroturf, still nowhere near as good as grass. Plus the fields get HOT during the summer.

          • Steglitz49

            The NWSL this season set a new standard for playing a top match in high heat on an artificial surface. If it is good enough for the NWSL, why do those who play in the NWSL complain?

          • Diane (DeeG)

            Yes, NWSL league play is exactly like the World Cup. Try to contribute something relevant.

          • Steglitz49

            The quality of play of many of the teams in the NWSL is as high and sometimes higher than most of the NTs who will compete in WC-15. The NWSL is with the DFB probably the strongest of the ladies leagues around the world, and certainly the most even.

            I too would like to see WC-15 played on natural grass. We support our local team, go to their home matches and as many away matches as we can, buy tons of lottery tickets. Nevertheless, I do not see spending money on temporary (not permanent) grass in one of the world’s richest countries as a priority. It is Canada’s pigeon.

            I presume that the women bringing this law-suit have in their back pockets support from rich individuals who would defray such a temporary installation should the action fail. Meanwhile, this legal process gets woso some well needed exposure in the media, something which woso usually does not get around the world.

            The most glaring issue is how little space is given by the media to a sport which has a massive participation rate and a lot of interest. I contend that there is a conspiracy to keep woso down. Hopefully someone could find out for us.

          • Diane (DeeG)

            On topic, NWSL is not the highest level of the women’s game, that designation is reserved for the World Cup.

            You would be wrong to assume the women behind the application have anyone in their back pocket let alone rich individuals to install grass. Even if they did, without an order or agreement to do so, they couldn’t.

          • Steglitz49

            I typed that the QUALITY of play in the NWSL is as high or higher than most NTs, NOT that it was the highest tournament level. I put it to you that either of this year’s finalists would only struggle against the US, Germany, Japan and possibly Norwegian NTs.

            The women could always offer to pay provided they had the money. Such an offer would then have to be formally declined, which would be embarrassing — and certainly gain some badly needed exposure for woso.

            Nevertheless, I agree with you that it is unlikely that the ladies have been able to raise such funds. I would not contribute one cent to TEMPORARY grass in Canada, which is one of the world’s RICHEST countries. We give money to support woso but underwriting a wealthy country is beyond us. I expect that others feel the same way. Please feel free to start a fund yourself.

            It may not be possible to grass the pitches. Stadia with artificial pitches are multi-use. It would be interesting to learn what other events are scheduled in these stadia during WC-15, not least in Vancouver, where the final will be played but also in the places for SFs and QFs.

          • Diane (DeeG)

            Your original statement was about WNT players who play in NWSL on turf complaining, which then somehow became about hot turf and then quality of play. None of these points are relevant to the application to have WWC played on natural grass.
            If you do some research you will find that other users of WWC venues have agreed to find other venues during WWC play. None of the venues will have anything but WWC matches during their scheduled time.

          • Steglitz49

            Thanks for doing the research. I was under the impression that the stadium in Vancouver had other events planned in it, as do some of the others, but I assume I am out of date.

            If FIFA were to announce that they were giving $3.5m to poor countries who are struggling with their womens soccer and who have difficulty finding the money to run a league or even an NT, that would be a fine gift, which would bring glory, laud and honor to FIFA.

          • Jeff Salmans

            Admittedly a different sport, but when I played high school football, we played on astroturf, and that stuff tore you up so badly that you had to cover every inch of your body if you wanted to still have skin on Saturday morning. Now that I’m a coach, I’ve been at schools that have field turf and our players don’t get nearly as torn up, and not any more than they do when they slide on grass (because you’ll still get “turf burns” from a grass field). I’ve played indoor softball on field turf and slid into bases and gotten less torn up that when I slide on dirt outdoors.

            I think field turf is getting a bad rap here, it’s not that much different from grass, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the main purpose of this lawsuit is to create interest in the WWC.

    • Jeremy

      Its not second class. They are treating them as if they are more progressive than men’s soccer. Field turf improves the game!!!! Use your noggin. Sigh… I guess women really are equal to men… equally stupid.

      • Guest

        Field turf improves the game? Ha and no it does not.

        • Jeremy

          I played growing up and in college at top levels. I always preferred playing on field turf so did almost all of my teammates. Grass is great, but turf was better. Its more consistent and it doesn’t create lots of problems due to inclement weather, which BC gets A LOT OF. 🙂 Better turf than a soggy mud bowl.

          • mockmook

            The best women players in the world don’t share your opinion of the surface.

  • justsomeguy

    they need to give us the names of FIFA people that are the ones against natural grass, and we need to shame them publicly and disgrace them.

    • Steglitz49

      A contract was signed between the CSA and FIFA at the time of bidding. It is that contract and the negotiations leading up to it that we need to see in court. As long as that process was above board (a big assumption admittedly) FIFA ought to be in the clear though the CSA might not.

      I hope that the CSA gets whacked by the court.

      • Ramona

        I’m going to love the discovery process in this case. Let’s see the documents FIFA. Show your corruption.

        • Movement

          And we can’t wait to watch you play next summer on real grass with Switzerland. Should be fun.

      • kernel_thai

        What Id be more interested in, and perhaps u would know, is whether Turf was an option in the FIFA bidding process when Qatar won the rights for 2022?

        • FedUp

          Getting full disclosure on the 2022 bidding process has stumped legions of investigative journalists. It’d sink FIFA, and the women’s turf salvo would be a mere popgun amidst the torpedoes

        • Steglitz49

          I do not know but what could be germane is that the German men’s NT has played WC qualifying matches on artificial surfaces, as has some other countries. One assumes that the CSA (or FIFA) will submit a list of those to the court. What is sauce for the gander world champions may well have to be sauce for the geese.

    • kernel_thai

      Part of the FIFA credo is knowing no shame.

    • Rufan

      I had an opinion that CSA would eventually go with grass, with some combination of FIFA, CSA, and sponsors paying for it, just to get rid of the embarrassment of the issue and avoid the now lawsuit, but FIFA seems to be taking a hard line. Why is the question – to set a precedent for turf as others previously speculated? There is no money to be made by cronies? Maybe FIFA just can’t be embarrassed?

      • kernel_thai

        At this point Im afraid it’s come down to the old we arent going to let a bunch of girls tell us how to run soccer.

        • wosofan

          The logic is that women should be happy with what they have, and accept the growth of the women’s game as proof that Fifa is blameless.

          FIFA reminds me of Chief Justice John Roberts – no need for the key provision of the Voting Rights Act because under the Act great progress has been made and minorities don’t face disenfranchisement like they used to.

          • kernel_thai

            Or why r u complaining about riding in the back of the bus…u should be grateful we let u on the bus?

          • Steglitz49

            As long as you pay your fare, obviously you should be allowed to sit wherever you want in the bus. If you do not pay your fare, there are usually fines for the miscreant.

      • FedUp

        Not embarrassed: they just can’t be bothered. Remember, Sepp Blatter couldn’t tell the difference between Sarah Huffman and Marta. There is one woman on the FIFA executive committee of 25. For FIFA the women are an afterthought.

        • spacec0w

          Well to 1:25 is probably actually equivalent to the interest worldwide in women’s vs. men’s soccer. In terms of revenue it’s probably 1:1,000,000. Just saying. (I do support and watch the WNT, FYI).

      • Steglitz49

        FIFA demanded of the CSA that all the WC matches be played on the same surface. When Toronto turned their noses up at hosting the women’s world cup, Canada was left with Moncton as the only natural grass pitch. FIFA defrayed the installation of an all-weather artificial surface at Moncton.

        We do not know whether grassing the other pitches was considered but the fact is that one Canadian stadium got themselves a top notch artificial pitch thanks to FIFA. One assumes that men will be allowed to use that pitch. It would be interesting to learn the proportion of male to female usage and who gets the choice time slots on FIFA’s gift to Canadian soccer.

        • whatever

          “When Toronto turned their noses up at hosting the women’s world cup” has nothing to do with the field…. let’s see what is going on in toronto around the time (a month or so after the world cup) oh right the 2015 Pan American games. They can’t host because they are getting ready for that tournament. Had nothing to do with the field.

          • Steglitz49

            Do you honestly believe that Toronto would have turned down hosting the men’s WC, the one the Canadians call the “big” world cup, in the same circumstances?
            — if you believe that, you believe anything.

            Pull the other one.

          • whatever

            The Men’s world cup does not take place in the same year as the women’s world cup or Pan American games. So Canada would not have to turn anything down.

            But since you brought it up, Canada would care more about the Men’s World Cup than the Women’s, which is the same for pretty much every other country in the world.

          • Steglitz49

            The Canadian WNT has covered itself in not inconsiderable glory over the years while I doubt if many can name a single Canadian male soccer player. Yet, on this issue, the CSA have boxed themselves into a corner.

            Granted, the courts are not likely to intervene in this issue but it opens up for a future law suit from concerned citizen’s either forcing the equality issue or those wanting to prevent Canada from hosting an expensive sports circus, which might leave the tax-payers with a huge bill. The Norwegians have just withdrawn their application to host the Winter Olympics in spite of having all the facilities, because their government has refused to underwrite the shebang.

  • Had to be done. Good for them.

  • canuckboy00

    Will the female players also be forced by the courts to bring in the revenue for FIFA that the male players draw? Or is this just a one sided equality thing here?

    • gbgentleman

      What exactly do the men do differently to bring in the revenue?

      • buddy love

        play soccer at a vastly higher skill level

        • guest

          saying men play soccer at a vastly higher level is like someone on a motorcycle screaming at someone on a bike about how slow they are compared to motorcycles. two different things but of course to your misogynistic mind, different=inferior.

        • Silver Frost

          Not skill, just more muscle strength, which allows faster passing and shooting. Otherwise, women do the same as men with skills.

          • Anthony

            It’s speed and acceleration that tends to be the most notable difference I find. Step-overs for instance are a bit more useful when done at greater speed .

          • Bergerôo et tous

            Most of the skills in footie are done faster and more powerfully by men, which is owing to more muscle mass: headers, throw ins, crosses, passing, shooting, tackling, and sprawling saves. The most noticeable difference, IMHO, is in GK activity and lightning quick on-the-ground passing by the men.

      • ruby4

        being born into a male dominated society that devalues women in every way helps.

      • sepp

        It’s the shorts!

    • Short_Change

      So what are you suggesting? That men deserve better treatment because they’re more profitable?

      • Steglitz49

        I interpret his comment that you have to pay your way and stand on your own legs.

        An interesting observation is that though a number of wealthy male individuals have supported the women’s case, none has done the efficient act of offering to defray or even simply lend the cost of natural grass. Such an offer would put the cat among the pigeons and stump the CSA. Wonder why it has not been done?

    • Don B.

      So you’re saying the women have to buy their equality?

      • Steglitz49

        as in “pay their own way”?

    • kernel_thai

      I guess u also feel that ur civil rights should be commensurate to ur income level. In that case, i hope ur rich.

    • wosofan

      Why are Canadians defensive about this? I would be embarrassed as a Canadian, not defensive. Canada has a great sports tradition, having hosted the Olympics with great success. Imagine if in Montreal they told the women to race on a dirt track instead of the synthetic track inside Olympic Stadium? Imagine if the women were told to swim in open water instead of a pool where the men raced? Imagine if in Calgary they told the women to speedskate on the Bow River, instead of the indoor oval where the men raced? Imagine if in Vancouver the CAN v USA women’s hockey match was played at a local university with subpar ice, instead of the same arena where Crosby and the men played? Even in Putin’s Russia (Sochi) the women hockey players played in the same arena as Ovechkin and all the men

  • Amy Brookheimer

    After reading the complaint, I’m more convinced that this is a publicity stunt more than anything else, because the players aren’t seeking a viable remedy. If the players’ win, they can’t force third parties (the stadium owners) to do anything; the CSA is merely a lessee of the venues that are being challenged as unsuitable. It’s like if the courts ordered all PAC-12 teams to play on turf. UCLA leases the Rose Bowl for games. Just because UCLA may be compelled to play on turf doesn’t mean that the Rose Bowl is compelled to rip out its grass and install turf.

    At best, the players are looking at obtaining an order that any World Cup held in Canada must be on grass. Then it would be up to the CSA to find compliant venues if wants to host the WC on extremely short notice. Sucks for them, but that’s what you get when you commit unlawful acts. Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if USSF wasn’t prepared to save the day a la 2003 (and bolster its own efforts to obtain a men’s WC in the process).

    • Diane (DeeG)

      If CSA is leasing the venues, it’s possible that their contract says the venue has to be returned in it’s original condition, thus changing surfaces for WC is a possibility. No other events are being held in the venues during the WC.

      Publicity stunt to what end? Equality?

      • Amy Brookheimer

        I think it serves a few purposes, mainly advancing the issue of gender equality and catching the anti-FIFA/anti-Blatter wave. Getting mainstream coverage right before WCQs doesn’t hurt, either.

        Admittedly, I’m a cynic. I just have a hard time believing that FIFA and Blatter will ever be shamed into anything. After all, this is an organization for which condoning genocides, human trafficking, indentured servitude, and environmental destruction is SOP so long as the francs flow into Zurich. Blatter doesn’t get out of bed, much less express an apnea-induced snort, for something as trivial as women complaining about playing on poor gridiron football turf.

      • Steglitz49

        I am not persuaded that north-America cares about equality between the sexes. The American people pay lip-service to it but US politics is still dominated not only by abortion issues but even contraception.

        Not counting women leaders of smaller countries, Indira Gandhi became prime minister of India in 1966, Margaret Thatcher of the UK in 1979 and Angela Merkel Chancellor of Germany in 2005. The US is still waiting for its first woman President.
        — Granted, Reagan put Sandra O’Connor on the Supreme Court in 1981 and Clinton made Madeleine Albright SoS in 1997 and “W” followed up with Condoleezza in 2005, so it is not as black as it might seem, though there are still only 3 women on the Supreme Court.

  • leftbacklion

    Soccer should be played on grass. The biggest, most prestigious soccer tournament in the world should absolutely be played on grass.

    • Movement

      At this point I’d rather they play on clay than on that fake turf.
      Tennis players that fall on it don’t seem to have as many scrapes, injuries, loss of blood, etc.

  • whatever

    Wow, what none of you realize is this case in dead in the water. In 2010 the IOC was sued because they wouldn’t allow women’s ski jumping into 2010 Olympics. What happened the lawsuit lost because the BC Supreme Court said they had no jurisdiction over the IOC. So the courts will site the exact same reason when they throw this case out.

    • guest

      Sweden euro 2013.

      • whatever

        Canada…..Sweden…. two different countries… two different set of court systems

        • Guest

          Not really both countries pride themselves in equality and no gender discrimination and women’s rights and both are very strict when it comes to those issues. And the weather in Canada during the summer is not much different than in Sweden. So people can’t use that as an excuse.

          • whatever

            Okay, but that doesnt answer the question. if “both countries pride themselves in equality and no gender discrimination and women’s rights” how come they lost their lawsuit to have women’s ski jumping added to the 2010 winter Olympics in Canada.

          • Short_Change

            Two different cases with quite different arguments. Any similarities between the two are entirely superficial. You’re just lumping together the two issues because they pertain to women’s equality.

          • whatever

            Explain how are they are different?

          • Steglitz49

            There was never a court case in Sweden. The Swedish FA was using natural grass from the outset.

            As for Canada, the main if not only similarity between the countries seems to be that they are good at hockey. Börje Salming rules OK, though he was not the first one and, seeing that Toronto turned their noses up at WC-15, maybe the Sedin twins, Näslund or Loob might be more appropriate, Kallur and persson having played for the Islanders in their glory days.

          • whatever

            Lets see ” Toronto decided not to bid, due to potential conflicts with the 2015 Pan American Games” So Toronto had more important things to worry about then a couple of women’s soccer games. And considering they will be playing soccer for the Pan American games on field turf, if they didn’t host these games, they would still be playing on field turf for the world cup.

          • Steglitz49

            BMO Field in Toronto, aka the National Soccer Stadium, installed grass about 5 years ago. It only holds 21,000 spectators.

            As for your assertion of all the PanAm matches being played on artificial surfaces, I contend that that weakens the ladies’ case massively. A competent attorney would make valid points and an excellent one would have field day.

            Taking part in the men’s world cup, in Canada called the “big” world cup, would have trumped the PanAm games in a walk.

          • Short_Change

            One case involves equitable playing conditions and one involves equitable Olympic participation. The latter revolving around issues such as sufficient numbers of competitors and adequate development for inclusion. The former is a question of equitable treatment in playing conditions between men and women as well as health/safety.

      • Steglitz49

        There was never a court case in Sweden. Sweden said they would use natural grass and used natural grass — at quite some cost to themselves, incidentally.

  • Movement

    FIFA can stuck a fat rock, for all I care.
    FIFA depicts male supremacy in their every day existence.
    FIFA = Male Chauvinist 101 (textbook definition of it in the new world depictionary)
    F.I.F.A. = Feminine Incompetent Football Association

    FIFA thinks SOD stands for … Sons own Daughters.
    No FIFA, sod is what builds and maintains a lawn.
    You know, a “real” actual lawn FIFA, one that every World Cup should be played on.
    Not that fake stuff that draws 250% more blood from the human body than real lawn.

    • Steglitz49

      Europeans tend to learn and use English English and if FIFA speaks English English, then “turf” stands for natural grass as in “turf accountant” for a bookie and in “the hallowed turf at such and such stadium”. In English English “sod” has a negative and pejorative meaning.

      The only major tennis tournaments still played on natural grass (Lawn Tennis) are in England, the most prestigious of them being Wimbledon.

  • Tom F

    can someone tell me please, if most high schools & even mid schools teams play on turf these days, why isn’t it good enough for the top pro’s?
    And does this mean high school soccer kids should get together and protest too?

    • guest

      I think someone needs to explain to you the difference in significance between high school/mid school matches/club matches and a freaking World Cup because you obviously don’t have a clue. A WC which is what they are protesting should never be played on turf.. period..

      • Tom F

        But Germany does not have a single Bundesligsaturf field *among their first division) and yet they adjusted quite well with their senior team beating Canada this June in Vancouver and their u20 team winning all their games on the way to the championship. So why if these German girls can do so well(withhout barely playing on turf before)? and yes the Bundesliga suffers way more injuries than the NWSLdid this last season

        • guest

          Again a World cup should never be played on turf… I don’t know what’s hard to understand. Friendlies, youth teams and club play are not on the same level as a senior world cup.. It’s not rocket science

          • Steglitz49

            Why don’t you just write the CSA for the required amount. Myself, I would not give a red cent to temporary grass in one of the world’s richest countries, but you obviously feel the need.

          • Tom F

            where’s your proof? I’ve tried telling ya that a ‘all grass’ league like the Bundesliga has more injuries than the half grass, half turf, Nwsl.
            Majority of those clubs are stronger than any of the WC teams outside the top 3.(just take a look at Olympique Lyons lineup and then the French NT)True that players that like to make those dangerous, swift slide tackles are going to feel the burn, but that might just be a good thing!(considering all the injuries those slide tackles have caused on others)

          • Steglitz49

            Nadine Kessler is going to have (or has just had) arthroscopy on one of her knees, which speaks to your point. Do you know what they (are likely to have) found?

          • Tom F

            both of the She Wolves holding mids(Goessling & Kessler) are currently injured. But Kessler should be back on the field within 3 weeks. Meanwhile Neid has given those two spots to Marozsan & new sensation, Leupolz, in the German NT until they get back

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. Keep watching the German skies for us. El Cascador covers France. Please could someone take on the Iberian peninsula for us.

  • guest

    The surface comparison male/female is legit, but the underlying implication nothing changes overthe course of WC history is obviously false.over the course

    • guest

      Durn thumbs

  • ltl_rascal

    the men should hop on board this issue as well if they don’t want to wind up playing their WC on artificial surfaces…

  • Diana Edensword Conway

    A coalition against artificial turf is growing: http://www.safehealthyplayingfields.org Take a look, and also see Brian Williams NBC nightly news of October eight on the hazards posed by AT. The NBC follow up a few days later reported that US EPA and Consumer Product Safety Commision (CPSC) both declined comment. Once those tens of tires are shredded, their toxic content aerosolizes and is inhaled by athletes & fans, especially as the fields age from use & from sun. After 6-9 years, the old materials are removed and ANOTHER $1M or more is spent to put in a new one. But in the US those former tires are apparently no longer regulated as toxic/hazardous waste— send ’em to the dump & put all that lead/mercury/zinc etc. into the water table?! Again, please see the website above. Athletes’ health, excessive heat, exorbitant cost, environmental pollution… issues are endless.