After weeks of pleading with FIFA to change its mind about playing the 2015 women’s World Cup on field turf instead of grass and being met with nothing but stubbornness, a handful of women’s soccer’s biggest stars have filed a lawsuit against FIFA to try and force the organization to put the upcoming games back on grass.
The suit was filed today to a human rights tribunal in Ontario, Canada, and is headlined by star players like Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, and Nadine Angerer. The suit claims that forcing women to play on artificial turf while not asking the same of their male counterparts amounts to gender discrimination.
FIFA is trying to use the women’s World Cup as a testing ground for artificial turf, to see if the playing surface might eventually be viable for use in men’s competition. That’s a raw-ass deal for the women, because artificial turf sucks, and everyone who gets a chance to play on it comes away hating it.
Last month, Wales and Real Madrid star Gareth Bale had to play a Euro 2016 qualifying match on turf, and said it would be no big deal when asked about it before the game. After the game, he had this to say:
“I can’t describe how bad, bobbly and hard the pitch was to deal with,” Bale said. “We said at the start that the most important thing was to get three points. Other teams are going to find it difficult coming here so for us to get three points is important. We want to qualify and you have to come to places like this and get victories.”
Turf sucks, everyone knows it, and there’s no way FIFA will force it upon the men’s game if it continues to cut up and piss off players around the world. But that won’t stop the organization from crapping all over the biggest tournament in the women’s game by forcing women to play on it. The only thing that sucks worse than turf is FIFA.