Home Global Game Rest of the World FIFA to send independent company to “ensure” quality of Canada’s Women’s World Cup turf

FIFA to send independent company to “ensure” quality of Canada’s Women’s World Cup turf


FIFA is going to contract an independent inspector to ensure that Canada’s artificial turf fields are indeed good enough to host a Women’s World Cup.

After the Executive Committee wrapped up its meetings in Zurich, FIFA made this announcement: “Regarding the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada, the executive ratified the decision to assign an independent company to travel to Canada in order to test pitches and training fields to ensure they fulfil the FIFA quality requirements.”

The Canadian Soccer Association says it will not make any comments about the timing of FIFA’s announcement, as this was a directive that the Association already knew about. It confirmed that the process of vetting the fields has actually already begun. Surfaces in Edmonton and Moncton are already approved. The goal is to have approval of the match surface and two training fields in each of the host cities.

American star Abby Wambach is leading a group of elite women’s players who have launched legal action against the exclusive use of artificial turf at next year’s Women’s World Cup. They claim the use of turf is a case of gender bias, as no men’s World Cup has ever been staged on artificial turf.

FIFA approves the use of artificial turf for international matches, as long as the surface meets FIFA’s star-rating system.

Under FIFA rules, a senior World Cup (men or women) must be played on consistent surfaces — it either must be all grass or all turf for games and training sessions. The rule does not apply to youth tourneys; for example, this year’s U-20 Women’s World Cup had games on both grass and turf.

The use of artificial turf was part of Canada’s bid for the Women’s World Cup, and has been common knowledge since the spring of 2011. But Wambach and her fellow players didn’t launch their legal challenge until 2014.

Of course, an independent body’s rating — and not FIFA’s own rating — helps a legal defence against claims that the turf isn’t up to world-class standards.


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  1. RHM

    September 30, 2014 at 4:19 am

    The reality is one country bid for the Women’s World cup. That countries bid was with artificial turf. If Wambach (a person who has shown her distaste for Canada for many years) felt strongly about this she could have lobbied against Canada’s bid in 2010/2011. Make no mistake waiting to launch legal action against The CSA is nothing more than her lashing out At Canada once again. Where was her precious USA’s bid for the games….?


  2. Mike

    September 29, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Sorry not buying that argument. Most are already playing on artificial turf. FC Edmonton’s pitch has got to be a top playing surface, as is Commonwealth. That’s as good as it gets here. Nothing more than politics IMO ????


  3. Kahkakew Yawassanay

    September 26, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Just the fact they are investigating the turf shows bias as this situation would never exist with a men’s WC. plastic grass is a horrible alternative and takes away greatly from the quality and interest in the game. the women made a simple and poignant statement which FIFA has carefully tippy toed around with obvious delay. All and any world and zone tournaments that are sanctioned must beheld on natural grass surfaces and FIFA needs to be consistent so what is good for the goose is good for the gander.


    • jt

      September 30, 2014 at 11:04 am

      Old style turf is awful but the new stuff like Ottawa has is very good.


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