FIFA: The World Cup Should Be Played on Natural Grass

To: FIFA Women's World Cup Committee & Peter Montopoli, Chief Executive Officer for the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015

FIFA: The World Cup Should Be Played on Natural Grass
of 4,000 signatures
Campaign created by Jess Kutch Icon-email

We, the undersigned, demand that FIFA change the venues for the women's 2015 World Cup games to fields with natural grass.

Why is this important?

Last year, the Women’s Gold Medal soccer match for the London Olympics was the NBC Sports Network’s most watched event in history of the network with 4.35 million viewers. More people around the world livestreamed the women's final than any other sporting event during the Olympics. 

And yet, still, professional women soccer players struggle to be given the respect they deserve. The latest insult to professional women soccer players comes with the decision by FIFA to hold the entire 2015 Women's World Cup tournament on artificial turf. 

When Abby Wambach -- the 2012 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year -- heard of this news, she noted,  "The men would strike playing on artificial turf." And Wambach, who is known for her physical style of play, should be especially worried. The American Academy of Neurology recently found that concussions are more prevalent when athletes play on artificial turf, and that women athletes are more likely to experience concussions in soccer than in other sports.

Artificial turf has been blamed for increased injuries on sporting fields, including more sprained ankles, concussions, turf burns, and an injury known as “turf toe”. Many claim that knee injuries are more common on artificial turf than on natural grass, and players often report greater muscle strain. That's because artificial turf has a higher coefficient of friction, meaning that players are more likely to “stick” to the surface instead of sliding naturally across it. How well a playing field absorbs shock is another factor in sports related injuries. Some believe natural grass turf can absorb shock better than artificial turf. Overheating is also a health concern for athletes playing on an artificial turf since temperatures can be over 15 degrees hotter on fake turf than natural grass. 

Some of the best soccer players in the world deserve to play the most competitive match of their lives on real grass. FIFA has the power to change the venues for the World Cup games to fields with real grass. Do the right thing, FIFA, and give professional women soccer players the respect they deserve.

As of August 5, 2013, more than 40 national team players from at least 10 different countries have signed this petition to FIFA calling for natural grass in the 2015 Women's World Cup. Below is a list of professional players who've so far signed this petition:

Abby Wambach - USA
Carli Lloyd - USA
Ali Krieger - USA
Alex Morgan - USA
Whitney Engen - USA
安藤 梢 (Kozue Ando) - JPN
大儀見 優季 (Yūki Ōgimi) - JPN
Anja Mittag - GER
Nadine Angerer - GER
Annike Krahn - GER
Célia Okoyino da Mbabi - GER
Kim Kulig - GER
Almuth Schult - GER
Laura Benkarth - GER
Melanie Behringer - GER
Melissa Barbieri - AUS
Sam Kerr - AUS
Caitlin Foord - AUS
Natalia Gaitan - COL
Melissa	Ortiz - COL
Nataly Arias - COL
Eugénie Le Sommer - FRA
Camille Abily - FRA
Wendie Renard - FRA
Veronica Boquete - ESP
Caroline Seger - SWE
Lotta Schelin - SWE
Kosavare Asllani - SWE
Olivia Schough - SWE
Sara Thunebro - SWE
Malin Levenstad - SWE
Sofia Lundgren - SWE
Emma Berglund - SWE
Charlotte Rohlin - SWE
Hedvig Lindahl - SWE
Nilla Fischer - SWE
Annica Svensson - SWE
Therese Sjoran - SWE
Caroline Jönsson - SWE
Anita Asante - ENG
Faye White - ENG
Natasha Dowie - ENG
Nora Holstad - NOR
Ingvild Isaken - NOR
Theresa 'Lupita' Worbis - MEX
Ana-Maria Crnogorčević - SUI
Sarah Walsh - AUS (Retired)
Michelle Akers - USA (Retired)
Sandra Smisek - GER (Retired)
Category: Health & safety
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Reasons for signing

  • Isabella B. 2013-09-23 18:30:08 -0400
    Give respect to players and to the planet by stopping the spread of plastic fields.
  • Sara D. 2013-08-22 10:24:47 -0400
    They wouldnt let men play the world cup on turf. Why should women have to?
  • Tammy M. 2013-06-12 00:27:54 -0400
    Just watched a men's QUALIFIER and the announcers noted the field had been switched to natural grass for this one important game. How can the actual women's TOURNAMENT not be given the same respect?


6 months ago


7 months ago

During this week's USWNT game against Mexico, commentators JP Dellacamera and Kate Markgraf voiced their opposition to the use of artificial turf in the women's World Cup. Listen:

7 months ago

USA Today: "U.S. soccer star says World Cup on turf will hurt game"

10 months ago The tweet that triggered a national movement of players and fans against artificial turf in the 2015 Women's World Cup.