August 22, 2014 4:20 pm
Updated: August 25, 2014 7:20 am

Tom Hanks adds voice to Women’s World Cup grass debate

In this picture taken Saturday May 17, 2014, US actor Tom Hanks, second left, and a young woman take a photo during the German soccer cup final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund at the stadium in Berlin. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ AP, dpa, Kay Nietfeld


TORONTO – Actor Tom Hanks has added his voice to those protesting the artificial turf surfaces that Canadian venues will use at the upcoming FIFA 2015 Women’s World Cup.

The use of turf at all six Canadian venues for the upcoming major tournament has been a contentious issue for some players, including American stars Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan. A group of 40 international players recently sent a letter to FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association threatening legal action, arguing that requiring women to play on artificial turf is discriminatory.

The letter claims that no men’s World Cup final has ever been contested on an artificial surface.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said at a news conference in Toronto earlier this month that tournaments held on turf are a reality of the future, and that the quality of today’s turf is much better than the old green carpets used in the past.

But in the letter, players say that even the better quality turf used today still poses a greater risk for injury than playing on a natural surface.

Hanks, a two-time Academy Award winner for best actor, is a soccer fan who supports English Premier League club Aston Villa.

© 2014 The Canadian Press

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