Soccer Is Meant for Grass

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Soccer Is Meant for Grass

On July 6, 2015, the United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) filed lawsuits because Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) required the World Cup of 2015 to be played on turf, which causes more damage to the body vs. grass.Turf is known for tiny rubber beads, the field being twenty degrees hotter than grass and turf burns, which take longer to heal than a regular grass burn. FIFA tournaments should be played on real grass because of the damage it does to the body. Also, many women on the soccer teams feel gender discriminated by FIFA because of lack of respect.

Although the USWNT won the World Cup, the girls didn’t win the lawsuits they filed towards FIFA. Never has a World Cup been played on turf with reason for it. With turf, it will take a couple of days longer to heal, and, with six games in one month, it will be nearly impossible to recover in that time.

Abby Wambach  who plays forward for USWNT, said “You don’t realize it but the subconscious mind doesn’t allow you to play as physical. Nobody slides as much. Nobody gets into as many tackles when you’re playing on an artificial surface and that’s why it’s so important that playing on grass for our world event was such a big deal, not to me,but to so many players in the world” (Washington Post).

Wambach was one of the most vocal on this topic but not the only one who was talking. Actor Tom Hanks tweeted, “Hey FIFA, they deserve real grass. Put in sod.” Since the USWNT filed the lawsuits too late they had the choice of boycotting the Cup or play for the game, they chose to play and won the tournament.

Before the start of the tournament, a company offered to install grass in all stadiums at no charge. Once FIFA denied, Wambach said “It made me realize, FIFA didn’t want to do what someone else wanted them to do.” In 2014, FIFA had the USMNT World Cup in Brazil and “FIFA made $338 million profit on 2014 Men World Cup, to say it’s not logistically possible to install real grass at all stadiums is not acceptable,” (USA Today) said Megan Rapinoe, midfielder for USWNT.

Making all the women but not the men play on turf is not only unfair but discriminating towards female players. Not only the USMNT won’t play on turf but “Some Major League soccer (MLS) men won’t even travel when (games are) on turf because they won’t play on it.” said Sydney Leroux Dywer, who plays forward for USWNT.

Wambach said “And, I guarantee you- and I’ve said this all along- there’s no footballer, no world class player on the planet that would prefer to play on artificial turf than natural grass.”  Soccer has evolved so much since the start; new moves, new players and techniques. A lot of changes have been for the better, but the turf is not.

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