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2015 Women's World Cup

FIFA official: World Cup will be on turf, ‘no Plan B’

Tatjana Haenni says there are no plans for the 2015 World Cup to be on grass. (Getty Images)

Tatjana Haenni says there are no plans for the 2015 World Cup to be on grass. (Getty Images)

TORONTO — A FIFA official visiting Canada in advance of the Women’s World Cup next summer says there are no plans to reconsider playing the premier tournament on artificial turf.

A group of players are currently finalizing a lawsuit in protest of the turf surface, claiming that it exacerbates injuries, and changes the way the ball moves and the players react. At the heart of the matter is gender discrimination, because the men’s World Cup would never be played on fake grass, the athletes say.

Tatjana Haenni, FIFA’s deputy director of the competitions division and head of women’s competitions, said: “We play on artificial turf and there’s no Plan B.”

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

FIFA has appointed an independent examiner to make sure the turf at the six venues meets the governing body’s strict guidelines for turf in top-tier tournaments. The consultant is traveling with a FIFA delegation that is inspecting the sites.

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