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Female Group: World Cup Artificial Turf is 'Gender Discrimination'

A group of about 40 female soccer players from around the world retained legal counsel this week to send a letter to the Canadian Soccer Association and world governing body FIFA over the use of artificial turf fields in next year’s Women’s World Cup, alleging that it is “a second class surface” that represents “gender discrimination that violates European charters and numerous provisions of Canadian law, including human rights codes and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

According to Soccerly’s Equalizer (via the Washington Post), copies of the letter, organized by American law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP and Canadian firm of Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, were sent to CSA and FIFA last week. Both organizations have since confirmed receipt of the letter, but neither offered an official response.

Meanwhile, FIFA President Sepp Blatter, speaking on Monday ahead of the of the U20 Women’s World Cup (currently underway in Canada), said the technology for the grass replacement surface FieldTurf, in particular, has come a long way and represents the “future” of the sport. He indicated that coaches and players complaining about it would simply have to get used to it.

Read the whole story at Washington Post »

2 comments about "Female Group: World Cup Artificial Turf is 'Gender Discrimination'".
  1. G O, August 11, 2014 at 3:45 a.m.

    So...the way to resolve things around the globe nowadays is to "lawyer up." Hm. Wonder if those fleeing ISIS for peril of their lives can do this? Really. This is the concern? Everyone of these players in the top clubs and national sides - even for the women, yes, they have some fine facilities available to them too - use artificial surfaces. I saw the Japanese training on just such surfaces prior to their trip over and then win at the Germany hosted World Cup. I did not hear such outcries of lousy field or excesssive indoor heat/humidity (all true) for the Detroit used dome in World Cup 1994. Watch those four games again and count the grass failures during play. Like it or not, it is very difficult to keep fields ready for 4 or 5 matches within 15 - 16 days. Only in the most ideal conditions can one assure a very good, even, playable grass field. Emphasis on "ideal conditions" that, in the real world, rarely manifest themselves. Stop the whining. Embrace these new fields that are indeed the current rage. Just ask the the companies that install them. Ugh. Law firms. Aka slime. Note that if only 40 of the players are lawyering up, it means that the majority are not on board with this. Like approx 320 versus these 40.

  2. G O, August 11, 2014 at 3:51 a.m.

    Didn't the Canadian planners for this upcoming 2015 World Cup propose more host cities but FIFA vetoed this and reduced the number of host cities? Yes, this is the case. FIFA stated that the venues were just too distant, one from the other - just too many different time zones in the original Canadian plan & proposal. Well, now one sees one reason why more venues/host cities is necessary. One cannot ready a stadium overnight for all the necessary matches back to back. So here is my solution: Reduce the number of participating national teams back to just 8. Yes, I know. That would be considered discriminatory too. Just all too predictable. For what it is worth, I would do the same with the men's World Cups. 32 is insufferably too large a field with too little overall quality of most matches.

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