FIFA officials to inspect BC Place turf in light of controversy
FIFA officials will be taking a closer look at BC Place today in light of the controversy surrounding turf conditions for the Women’s World Cup that will be held in Canada next year.
A total of six stadiums around the country will be inspected.
BC Place will host the World Cup final on July 5 as well as a number of other matches in the group and playoff stages.
At the beginning of this month, a group of elite female players filed a lawsuit against the Canadian Soccer Association and FIFA claiming gender discrimination because their male counterparts have always played on natural grass surfaces.
They say playing on fake grass impacts game dynamics and can result in a greater risk of injury.
The players also suggest that tournament venues replace their turf with permanent or temporary grass pitches.
A lawyer representing the players says it would cost $2 million to $3 million at most to install real grass.
So far, FIFA has said it has no plans to reconsider using artificial turf and there is no plan B.
Players say they will not be boycotting the World Cup over this issue.
A number of celebrities weighed in on the debate.
Actor Tom Hanks along with NBA player Kobe Bryant and US men’s team goalie Tim Howard voiced their support for the female players.
Opinion: Women’s World Cup is the best Soccer of the year. Hey FIFA, they deserve real grass. Put in sod. Hanx
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) August 22, 2014
— Kobe Bryant (@kobebryant) August 13, 2014
— tim howard (@TimHowardGK) August 26, 2014
With files from the Canadian Press