Artificial turf at World Cup

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Angry female football champions may have dropped a hard-fought battle too soon against FIFA for forcing them to play the Women’s World Cup on artificial turf.

The best women football players in the world dropped a complaint early this year charging gender discrimination against FIFA for requiring the World Cup in Canada to be played on artificial turf, which is widely regarded as dangerous, particularly for professional-level play.

To no-one’s surprise, FIFA helped to arrange numerous contracts with artificial turf companies, and FIFA Executive Committee Members were likely to be reluctant to jeopardise those to make play safer for the women.

A group of some 60 players who filed the complaint last year with the Human Rights Commission of Ontario against FIFA over the artificial turf pointed out that the organisation spent $2m (£1.3m) to place natural grass in the Detroit and New Jersey venues for the 1994 Men’s World Cup.

The bitterness and the possibility of playing on fake turf remains.

It’s the first time that the World Cup has been played on artificial turf.

US striker Sydney LeRoux is reported as saying:

“There is no turning back wishing you made that slide tackle but you can’t because it’s artificial turf.

“We’ve moved past this turf issue.

“Obviously we came in very strong but we lost.

“But our voice was heard and I hope it never happens again.

“I hope women never have to play on artifiical turf again.”

William H Ronksley