Just one day after FIFA president Sepp Blatter referred to himself as the "godfather" of women's soccer, U.S. star Abby Wambach is taking the organization to task for what she sees as clear anti-female actions.
The crux of her frustrations lie with the turf issue that has afflicted the Women's World Cup for the better part of a year. Despite allowing men to play on natural grass surfaces, FIFA has repeatedly insisted that the 2015 Women's World Cup will be played on artificial turf -- a surface that creates far more superficial wounds, namely turf burns, as well as an increased risk for many other injuries, including concussions.
Many athletes have come to the defense of Wambach and female soccer players everywhere, saying they should be granted the same playing surface as men. Former women's star Mia Hamm, retired men's star Landon Donovan, and even NBA superstar Kobe Bryant have slammed the artificial turf as an unfair double-standard that adversely affects women.
Speculation has been that FIFA didn't want to deal with the increased cost of installing natural grass fields. It turns out, though, that cost has nothing to do with it.
Former U.S. star Julie Foudy writes for ESPNW:
"According to Wambach, The Scotts Company made it known to FIFA that the lawn care specialist was willing to provide grass for the entire Women's World Cup event and all fields.
"FIFA's response? No, thank you. According to Wambach, FIFA claimed that wasn't part of Canada's original bid; the bid was only field turf and soccer's governing body was honoring that bid."
Wambach isn't blowing smoke, either. She names her source for the information: FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, the second-highest executive in the organization.
That opens up the possible theories as to why FIFA is insisting on artificial turf, since virtually all soccer players and teams would welcome the change. Whatever the reasoning, it has nothing to do with the health and safety of female soccer players.