Soccer World Cup

FIFA Again Shows Extreme Closed-Mindedness Over Women’s World Cup Turf Issue

2015 Women's World Cup Playing Surface FIFA

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The use of artificial turf for the 2015 Women’s World Cup has been the subject of a lawsuit, constant banter on social media and online petitions. The lawsuit was dropped and players began to focus on the tournament that is now only a month away. Today it was revealed that FIFA was offered free installation of grass fields, but balked because that was not part of the original bid. It is nothing new, but again FIFA and Sepp Blatter showed an inability to use general logic and make decisions that would present a better product on the field and be safer for the players.

ESPNW contributor and former USWNT star Julie Foudy released a video today that featured a discussion with striker Abby Wambach. In the video Wambach reveals that The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company offered to pay for and install grass fields at all Women’s World Cup venues across Canada. Wambach states that she got that information from FIFA General Secretary Jerome Valcke, who is second in charge.

The fact that FIFA turned down the offer from Scotts because it did not honor the original host bid surprises no one. It is the kind of shortsighted thinking that has led to a heap of corruption allegations and proof of wrongdoing. However, the news comes after players dropped their lawsuit against FIFA back in January. The basis of the lawsuit was equality. The Men’s World Cup is always played on grass, so the players had a beef. Of course FIFA and Blatter, who today called himself “a godfather of the organization of women’s football” when talking to BBC World Service, never budged.

The amount of stupid decisions that come from FIFA have desensitized many followers of the world’s game to governing idiocy causing a lot of head shaking. At this point all of those interested in this summer’s tournament in Canada just have to hope for a good product on the field in spite of the governing body.

Douglas Smith is a writer for Follow him on Twitter @DFresh39, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.


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