Let the Ladies Play on Grass FIFA

Next year the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be held in Canada.  Exciting, yes?  While for soccer fans around the world, it is, another international tourney with some of the best women soccer players in the world.  But, for the players including US stars such as, Alex Morgan, Sydney Leroux, and Abby Wombach, really are not looking forward to playing in Canada.  Not because they hate Canada but because every venue at the World Cup will have artificial turf.  What’s the big deal, you might ask.  Well let me answer that for you.

First of all, turf fields and soccer don’t mix.  Turf fields do not feel like grass.  They feel more like carpet.  Does it feel nice to rub your skin against carpet?  Players can get seriously injured just performing a slide tackle and because it can cause injury, the players’ performance diminishes significantly.  Also, falling on a turf field feels like falling on cement because there is a cement base under the layers of the turf.  Just take a look at Sydney Leroux’s picture she posted on twitter after playing a game on a turf field.

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Ouch!  Just seeing this picture should help you feel these players’ pain.  Having to play at least three matches in the period of a four weeks will make these girls’ legs look much worse than the picture above.

And, there is a hint of sexism from FIFA.  Men would never have this issue for a world cup because they will always play on perfectly landscaped fields of lush, green grass.  They can do all the sliding they want and they won’t get carpet burn or I guess it is more like turf burn.  So, if men will never play on turf for the World Cup (turf fields are used in men and women leagues around the world), why do women have to?  This disconnect between women and FIFA has to a lawsuit filed by many players that will be playing on those fields in the summer of 2015.

I can understand why turf fields are used so often.  The maintenance is considerably less than grass, and weather becomes a non-issue.  So it makes sense that these turf fields are there and so abundant.  Official who were in charge of the bidding process to get the world cup in Canada say that turf was a main part of the bid because of several reasons.  The main reason is that turf is more suitable for Canada; it’s cold and it would take a lot of maintenance to maintain full grass fields.  So because of this, turf is a common thing in Canada.  And, they also say that several men’s international tournaments have been played on turf.  Not the World Cup but some tournaments.  It’s a little sad that they are trying to change the subject.  But with all this in mind, their stance is not changing.

The World Cup is imminent, turf or not.  Personally, I would like to FIFA and Canada work together to put the ladies on some grass.  It would benefit the players and the fans because the players can play to their potential and the fans will have better soccer to appreciate.  What do you think?

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