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
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. ----UPDATE---- 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)
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: https://soundcloud.com/jess-kutch/jp-dellacamera-object-to-use
USA Today: "U.S. soccer star says World Cup on turf will hurt game" http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/soccer/2013/03/27/abby-wambach-not-happy-world-cup-turf/2026421/
https://twitter.com/AbbyWambach/status/314882077399068672 The tweet that triggered a national movement of players and fans against artificial turf in the 2015 Women's World Cup.
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