FIFA defends 2015 World Cup synthetic turf decision
FIFA’s Moya Dodd is sympathetic to players protesting about synthetic turf at the 2015 Women’s World Cup, but insists that Canada was the best bid.
About 40 top players have signed a petition and threatened legal action if matches are not played on grass.
Dodd told BBC Sport: “Of course I have sympathy with players who want to play in the best conditions.
“But the important thing is to ensure that the tournament will be played in the best facilities available.”
The Australian, who was voted onto FIFA’s Executive Committee in 2013, added: “Certainly, the World Cup is being played in the country with the best bid.”
The petition has been signed by the 2012 and 2013 FIFA Players of the Year, Abby Wambach of the United States and Germany’s Nadine Angerer, as well as former England captain Faye White and current England players Natasha Dowie and Anita Asante.
Lawyers representing the group have accused FIFA and World Cup organisers of discrimination, with the group calling on global football chiefs, including UEFA’s Michel Platini, to intervene.
The players also allege they were misled by FIFA into believing that traditional playing surfaces would be provided if there was significant opposition to the artificial pitches.
But former Australian international Dodd added: “In some countries, [synthetic turf] is the best or only viable option in order to host a World Cup, so I don’t think you can exclude it on that basis.
“I’ve played on synthetic turf and it’s been better than a lot of the grass pitches I’ve played on. It’s easy to generalise around the quality of turf, and those generalisations aren’t always accurate. It’s important to be open to technological advancements that make football better and more accessible.”
Source courtesy of: newtelegraphonline.com
Photo courtesy of: GETTY IMAGES
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