Female footballers sue Fifa but not for the reason you might think

Dina Rickman@dinarickman
Thursday 02 October 2014 17:00

A group of leading female footballers are suing Fifa and the Canadian Soccer Association - over plans to use artificial turf at the 2015 Women's World Cup.

They say it is sexual discrimination as every single men's World Cup tournament has been played on real grass. The players claim artificial grass poses a safety risk and changes the nature of the game.

Hampton Dellinger, the lawyer representing the footballers, said in a statement that "the gifted athletes we represent are determined not to have the sport they love belittled on their watch". The lawsuit, filed at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, involves players from 12 different countries and can be read in full here.

Getting an equal playing field at the World Cup is a fight female players should not have to wage but one from which they do not shrink. In the end we trust that fairness and equality will prevail over sexism and stubbornness.

  • Hampton Dellinger

Fifa told BBC sport it would not comment until its lawyers had thoroughly reviewed the lawsuit.

The news came shortly after CNN reported Fifa officials had said they would not consider appointing a woman to lead an investigation into the bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

Alexandra Wrage, of the Independent Governance Committee (the body in charge of finding a candidate for the investigation), alleged she had been told by senior Fifa employees to "stop putting women forward for these positions."

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