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SBD Global/August 7, 2014/Events and Attractions

Top Players Protest Use Of Artificial Turf At 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup In Canada

A group of top int'l football players has "retained legal counsel in the fight to have the playing surfaces" of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup "changed from artificial turf to natural grass," according to Jeff Kassouf of THE EQUALIZER. Headlined by the last two FIFA Women's World Players of the Year -- American Abby Wambach and German Nadine Angerer -- the group "consists of approximately 40 national team players from around the world." No senior women's or men's World Cup has "ever been played on artificial turf." All six venues for next year’s Women’s World Cup in Canada "are slated to feature artificial turf." The group's lawyers sent a letter to Canada Soccer and FIFA officials on July 28, stating that the use of an "inferior" surface for the Women’s World Cup "is discriminatory and violates Canadian law." The players' lawyers argue that the use of "a second-class surface is gender discrimination that violates European charters and numerous provisions of Canadian law, including human rights codes and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms." FIFA President Sepp Blatter said that the turf "is here to stay." Blatter: "There was a time that playing on so-called artificial turf, grass -- it was a nightmare. It was a nightmare because there was not the quality; it was just a carpet put on concrete. ... But now the quality of the turf, or the artificial grass, has improved very much, and it is definitely -- it is the future" (THE EQUALIZER, 8/5).
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