“Men’s World Cup tournament matches are played on natural grass while C.S.A. and FIFA are relegating female players to artificial turf,” a lawyer for the players, Hampton Dellinger, said in a statement. “The difference matters: Plastic pitches alter how the game is played, pose unique safety risks and are considered inferior for international competition.”
The group of players named in the filing consists of national team players from approximately a dozen countries, including the former world players of the year Abby Wambach of the United States and Nadine Angerer of Germany. Nearly every top contender for next year’s World Cup title is represented, although the filing does not name any players from host Canada’s national team.
This action comes after months of individual players collectively pointing out the dangers of playing on turf, including USA forward Sydney Leroux's famous twitter shot of her legs which she posted after a game on turf.
However that seems unlikely as Tatjana Haenni, FIFA’s head of women’s competitions told reporters in Canada this week that there were no plans to accede to the players’ demands. “We play on artificial turf, and there’s no Plan B.”
A player boycott also seems a no go as many of the players, including those listed as plaintiffs in the current case are reluctant to give up their chance to play in the most popular tournament for women's soccer on the global stage.
They have pressed for a expedited hearing because the tournament begins in less than nine months, and installing grass fields or relocating games — if ordered — could take time.
**Parts of this article were taken from an article by Andrew Das for The New York Times. **