FIFA is (allegedly) a dirty organization. As controversy about having a World Cup in Qatar continues, FIFA finds itself under fire for a plethora of other issues (see: Luis Suarez).
One of those issues is the 2015 Women's World Cup in which Sepp Blatter and his staff appear to be treating females like guinea pigs. FIFA wants to convert the grass fields in Canada, the host, to artificial turf. It is no secret soccer players do not like playing on turf, which makes it telling that this "experiment" is not coming at men's World Cup or men's UEFA Champions League competition.
In a New York Times interview published Wednesday, U.S. Women's National Team all-time leading goal scorer Abby Wambach said:
"It's a gender issue through and through ... This being the pinnacle of our sport, we feel like we should be treated just like the men."
Wambach is one of more than 4,000 people to sign a petition advising FIFA to use grass fields rather than turf. The list includes over 50 national-team players from a dozen nations. The players' lawyers are threatening taking the conflict to court.
Wambach and other players simply do not want to deal with a turf surface. Naturally, grass is softer and safer, although it is more difficult to maintain. Injuries can be considered more likely on turf than grass. Turf also changes the entire strategy of a match.
The female soccer players have support from two big-time American basketball players. Kobe Bryant tweeted this image of USWNT forward Sydney Leroux after playing on turf:
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) August 13, 2014
Kevin Durant added a Facebook post:
The 2015 Women's World Cup kicks off June 6 with two matches in Edmonton and ends July 5 in Vancouver. Japan won the previous World Cup in 2011 by beating the United States by shootout in the championship match in Germany.
Of course, all is now subject to a lawsuit.