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Joe MacCarthy

Players Retain Legal Counsel in Fight Against Artificial Turf at 2015 Women’s World Cup

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I think club soccer is one thing for the women's game, but ultimately the international circuit is much larger and more important to these players so they have every right to be arguing about their playing surface. I do agree with their pursuit for grass fields... Women are more susceptible for knee injuries and the artificial surface with only make this problem worse. I don't think its to much to ask to play on grass, however this being Canada is doesn't make to much sense to install natural surfaces that can only be used for a portion of the year. This should have been taken care long ago rather than t-minus 1 year from the tournament. 

 

I agree with anything that puts FIFA on the defensive and take a bit of heat upon themselves for a change.  Their usual air of arrogance is astounding and Sepp's holier than thou attitude is unbearable.  And by extension the CSA, which seems to have signed deals on plastic pitches which are cheaper and have bigger profit margins than some smaller fields with real grass.  No offence to the folks out there on the left coast, but we have two very good stadia in Montreal and Toronto, which I assume were not booked due to a better deal and higher profits to be earned in Olympic Stadium.  I think we all agree that the Big O is not an ideal location in summer time to enjoy some quality women's football.

 

Again, this is, as always, a numbers game - FIFA has shown that their appreciation for fans (and players)  is next to nil. high ticket prices, tournaments planned for places like Qatar and Russia etc.  The money is in the sponsorship deals as well as TV rights. 

 

In any case, I'm not a fan of Wambach, but have gained a bit of respect for her fight.  She clearly is pulling some stops on this, and if its her versus FIFA, and she wins, I'll be one happy fan.

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It would have been illegal to host 2015 World Cup games in Toronto because of the restrictions placed by the Pan-Am games. But no, you're right, it's a massive conspiracy to make women play on plastic, and this is the first ever World Cup that somebody's tried to make a profit off of. Instead, a World Cup semi-final should have been played in a 20,500-seat stadium to make Abby Wambach happy.

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I always thought Carrie Serwetnyk was smarter than that.  Oh well.

 

Canada bid on a specification allowing fieldturf.  It was selected by FIFA.  You want a lawsuit, try that one.

 

It's already to late to change things.  By the time an international legal system runs it's course it will be too late to even print a new ticket.  There are three options: 

 

1.  We host on turf

2.  Someone else hosts the tournament

3.  The tournament is cancelled

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Hard to imagine any of this nonsense amounting to anything.

 

Also hard to imagine what ever world press is present for this tourney not making a constant note during their broadcasts back to their domestic audiences of the prevalence of plastic at these Women's World Cup Finals.

 

Try to divorce your personal opinions about modern field turf when considering that.  Right or wrong it will not be a recurring message meant to exemplifying Canadian soccer innovation.  

 

Just saying.

 

June 6th.  Edmonton.  Be there.

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It's all just design.  As design technology improves, one day all games will be played on manufactured surfaces.  It's inevitable.  The only question is when.

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Aside from the CFL, you might want to do some due diligence on that one.

 

It appears you are right. It was my assumption that both had done so. I counted it out and the NFL is 17/15 in favour of some form of artificial turf. I included the hybrid systems (which frankly I had no idea existed) in my artificial turf count as they aren't strictly grass. What surprised me is it was 2/28 in MLB, I thought the teams that used to have Astroturf went to FieldTurf, but I guess I was wrong.

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There are three options: 

 

1.  We host on turf

2.  Someone else hosts the tournament

3.  The tournament is cancelled

 

Here's where it gets interesting.

 

The 2003 Women's World Cup was moved from China to the United States because of SARS.  When FIFA announced the move to somewhere else in the world the head of US Soccer commented "Clearly we are always interested in hosting events of this caliber."

 

If the most prominent members of the Canadian women's soccer team were to sue FIFA and a foreign government, do you think the CSA would have a word with them?  They would be on them in about a millisecond.  Yet this hasn't happened here.  US Soccer hasn't advised it's players that they are the political organization and to let them handle the politics.

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It's all just design.  As design technology improves, one day all games will be played on manufactured surfaces.  It's inevitable.  The only question is when.

Can partially agree with this, as long as next generation artificial playing surfaces offer near identical conditions compared to natural fields. As it is right now it is much different playing on both, artificial being harder with awkward bounces and warmer temperatures in summer weather. 

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Let's be clear who is getting screwed here: 

 

1. the players - men don't play on plastic, and compared to real grass, turf still sucks

2. the fans - Big O or Saputo for a game anyone?  No contest. I know this example doesn't apply in all cities, but still

3. Canadian soccer overall - we are all in favour of more grass and not more turf. 

 

Criticism of any one player is beside the point.  The fact that Canadian soccer fans hate Wambach is besides the point. 

 

FIFA created and accepted specs for the tournament that were approved for women, but these same standards do not appear to apply equally for the men.  While I don't know if fighting this in Canada works, I do think there is justification for a complaint. 

 

Fight the power, I say. 

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It appears you are right. It was my assumption that both had done so. I counted it out and the NFL is 17/15 in favour of some form of artificial turf. I included the hybrid systems (which frankly I had no idea existed) in my artificial turf count as they aren't strictly grass. What surprised me is it was 2/28 in MLB, I thought the teams that used to have Astroturf went to FieldTurf, but I guess I was wrong.

Of the 31 NFL fields I count 18 natural turf surfaces (I count Desso as a natural surface).  To be honest I thought it was more, but I knew MLB (aside from Toronto and TB) were totally turf.

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It's all just design.  As design technology improves, one day all games will be played on manufactured surfaces.  It's inevitable.  The only question is when.

Yup and much of that decision will be economic, when they can embed changeable LED ads in the field.  The technology is already here.

Edited by Joe MacCarthy

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The same standards do not appear to apply equally for men

One country applied to host the women's tournament.  The cost of running the men's tournament is hundreds of times more than the women's.  You can apply gender and say they're the same but the truth is the tournaments are on different planets.  What about the venues?  The referees?  The broadcasting?  The merchandising?  The off-the-field events, etc.  They're all nowhere near compared to the men's tournament.  Off course the standards are different.

 

 

 

we are all in favour of more grass and not more turf.

You're dreaming.  It's Canada.  We had snow on the ground for five months last year here.  We can't maintain grass.  Clubs and municipalities don't have the resources.  99% of fields east of Vancouver are weed cement.  We need more turf.  We need it in every community park and school.

Edited by Vic

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Yup and much of that decision will be economic, when they can embed changeable LED ads in the field.  The technology is already here.

 

I've heard about those fibre-optic lights in the turf that can modify a fields lines between rugby, football, soccer, etc but have never seen them.  It's only a matter of time until science and design can reproduce the look, feel, weight, bounce of any surface.

Edited by Vic

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Artificial turf is not too bad when it is brand new just installed. Only drawbacks are flying rubber pebbles that get in your hair and under your garments.  The ball bounces funny and in a hot day the heat bounces back and it is bad, bad.  Now in an artificial turf that has been used a lot, the plastic grass get totally flattened and totally useless.  Also defects on the underlay surface appear through and the top is not evenly flat any longer.  The turf looks and feels dirty and in my view disgusting.  I support natural grass.  Turf is a step back towards playing on dirt fields.

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Easy enough if you live in southern BC in a wet European climate where grass can be grown with little effort.  Impossible in the majority of Canada.  We are allowed on grass fields mid-to-late May and play three months, four if we're lucky.  The only option is turf.

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We need more turf. We need it in every community park and school.

Having read some of the recent concerns about exposure to the rubber pellets and cancer incidences, especially for goaltenders, who appear to ingest amounts of dust and rubber which contain elements that act like asbestos fibers, I would like to see more study before putting sixty tons of carbon black in every school yard.

Edited by Trillium

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The players say nothing about  getting substandard treatment when they select officials for the matches. The world's best referees are not assigned to the women's matches but they are for the men's. 

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Easy enough if you live in southern BC in a wet European climate where grass can be grown with little effort.  Impossible in the majority of Canada.  We are allowed on grass fields mid-to-late May and play three months, four if we're lucky.  The only option is turf.

They have grass fields in the desert!  If you water it, it will grow.

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Yes but the desert doesn't have five months of snow and winterkill.

 

Like asbestos in homes, if the material is cancerous, find another.  We need artificial surfaces to extend our seasons and play year-round.

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Only drawbacks are flying rubber pebbles that get in your hair and under your garments.  The ball bounces funny and in a hot day the heat bounces back and it is bad, bad. 

 

The field I play on once a week or more is a fairly new installation of turf and it gets so hot on summer afternoons it must be 2-3 degress hotter on the field than right next door on the parched grass. And yes, those freaking pellets get everywhere. They also need to be replaced and "raked" or whatever thay call it regulalry. The field gets pretty firm if they just leave it to be played on all th time without driving that little "raking" machine over it.

 

It would be nice to see more of the Desso hybrid fields here in Victoria. I mean if WE here in Canada's warmest region can't have grass fields then where can we?!?!

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Love it or hate it, it's really not about grass or turf at all.  It's about law.  The hosting specification that was publicly available four years ago allows for either surface.  The players are litigating FIFA over that now, after Canada has spent three years coordinating with thousands of organizations, companies, volunteers, etc.  If FIFA is litigated and loses, from your understanding of the organization, do they stonewall and cancel the tournament to send a message you don't sue them?

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