Women players threaten to sue FIFA over artificial playing surfaces for 2015 WC

Washington: Dozens of top female football players alleging gender discrimination have reportedly threatened to sue FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association over artificial playing surfaces planned to be used for the 2015 Women`s World Cup in Canada.

Artificial surfaces are widely considered inferior to actual grass for top-level soccer, and the group of female players has said that they are set to be subjected to sub-standard playing conditions for the 2015 World Cup.

The group of more than 40 athletes sent a letter to FIFA on July 28 and a part of that letter says that consigning women to a second-class surface is gender discrimination that violates European charters and numerous provisions of Canadian law, including human rights codes and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Mashable reported.

Carrie Serwetnyk, a former member of the Canadian national team, said that they saw the World Cup in Brazil and they just know that there is absolutely no way the men would play on fake grass. So, she added that to think it is for the Women`s World Cup to be played on artificial turf, what kind of a message does that send.

FIFA officials have reportedly confirmed receiving the threatening letter, but denied to provide any additional information.

Artificial turf has come a long way since the bright-green, carpet-like AstroTurf surfaces that were common on many American football fields two decades ago; in many cases it now resembles actual grass to the naked eye.

Despite having come a long way since the bright-green, carpet-like AstroTurf surfaces, artificial turf is seen by most soccer players as a second-rate playing surface because the ball travels faster than it does on normal grass, falls are not as well-cushioned and some say it can contribute to other injuries.

The 2015 Women`s World Cup would be held at six venues across Canada, all of them featuring artificial playing surfaces.

Among the players threatening to sue FIFA for actual grass surfaces in 2015 are United States Women`s National Team players Amy Wambach, Alex Morgan and Heather O`Reilly, as well as Germany goalkeeper and reigning women`s world player of the year Nadine Angerer, the report added.