The new turf for the women’s FIFA World Cup Canada was unveiled at B.C. Place on Wednesday, in spite of the controversy it caused for months since September 2014.
When FIFA originally announced the Women’s World Cup would be played on turf fields, a group of top women’s players threatened to launch a lawsuit, and filed a human rights complaint over the organization’s decision to install artificial fields.
Many players scheduled to compete in the 2015 World Cup in Canada say that it’s discrimination to be forced to play on turf, while men are able to play on real grass.
The complaint drew popular attention and received support from actors such as Tom Hanks taking to Twitter to voice his support.
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
NBA star Kobe Bryant also took to Twitter to share a photo of Sydney Leroux Dwyer’s cut-ridden legs after playing on artificial grass.
This is why soccer should be played on grass! pic.twitter.com/fsNGi27oRY
— Sydney Leroux Dwyer (@sydneyleroux) April 15, 2013
FIFA hired an independent consultant to examine turf surfaces in Canadian fields, but the organization stuck with their decision and stated that playing on artificial turf is part of the game.
The lawsuit that was taken up by players was dropped in January. Their lawyer claimed FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association behaved badly in court. Though the lawsuit managed to convince FIFA to replace certain turf fields — Vancouver being the one of primary concern.
The 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup will take place in Edmonton, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton from June 6 to July 5.