Despite securing the Premiers’ Plate since coming back from the season pause, Sydney FC’s formline has fans and media questioning their championship credentials.
The Women’s World Cup starts tomorrow in Canada, the home of lush green landscapes. So why are the women being made to play on artificial turf?
American footballer Megan Rapinoe has hit out at FIFA calling the field “second-class” while teammate and one of the most successful players in women’s football Abby Wambach tweeted that the men would strike if they were expected to play on artificial turf.
Male footballers actually have form as well, a group of players sued FIFA last year for using artificial turf in Detroit and New Jersey in 1994.
It’s another bad move for FIFA where women are being put on a world stage but feeling cut short.
Speaking to Bleacher Report, Rapinoe said:
“Just simply put, it’s the biggest competition that you can play in as an international footballer. That’s it. And obviously, turf is a second-class surface.
“If it wasn’t, then all men’s teams would play on turf. You’d see Champions League games on turf, you’d see EPL games on turf.
But it’s obviously a second-class kind of surface, and I think for us, just to know the amount of money FIFA makes every year, and the amount of money they made off the [men’s] World Cup – and I think they’ll make money off our World Cup – to say it’s not plausible to put grass in?
“I think it’s absolutely absurd that we’re playing on turf and it’s really a slap in the face to women’s football by FIFA and just a show of disrespect.”
Fans have fears that this will open up a new era of turf fuelled games within the professional circle. Others have noted that it’s a slap in the face to women’s football and that they’re not being taken seriously.
Only time will tell if the turf will help or hinder America’s chances and with an expected sell-out crowd for the first time maybe FIFA will realise the potential of women’s football.
The Women’s World Cup starts tomorrow at 5:30am (AWST).
In the words of Rapinoe, “They can say what they want, but it’s all bullshit to me”.