Football

FIFA to face legal action after breach of women's rights

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Human rights are at the forefront of our lives, none more so than that of gender equality, with women being unfairly treated everyday. The allegations that have been made against FIFA however, are more atypical than what you would expect with playing surfaces being the hot topic.

The Guardian reported that Hampton Dellinger, a litigator said "to treat women who participate in a world cup differently than the have been and will be treated is not right and is prohibited under Canadian law".

This was said in reference to the women's World Cup in Canada being played on astro turf pitches.

The first point to look at is whether or not the artificial turf will be a hindrance, and if you take the FIFA consultant Eric Harrison's word then, no it wont be.

Due to the adverse weather it is nigh on impossible to keep grass pitches at a playing condition, so "the majortiy of stadiums in Canada have accepted that the only football turf is a credible surface to meet the demands of the weather and usage".

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Furthering this his conclusion was that the game at elite level was essentially the same on both football turf and natural turf". So in terms of playing on it there shouldn't be any cause for concern.

The main issue that has arose though, has been lamented by US striker Sydney Leroux who said that "men would never play a world cup on turf, so why should women?"

Whether this is true or not surely depends on where the World Cup takes place, if it was in Canada, then due to most of their pitches using astro turf then the likelihood is that they will.

In addition many European teams use them and European qualifiers and champions league games have been played don these pitches. This does however, illuminate what I feel the real problem here is, despite the women's game growing, as shown by Stephanie Roche (who was placed in the top 3 for FIFA goal of the season) there is still work to do.

Alternative options?

Only one other country, Zimbabwe applied to host the games only to drop out after a few months, and with Canada not having the funding to change the pitches, stopping the games from happening on turf could then mean the games don't happen at all.

David Ginola in his attempt to become FIFA President did present an idea that I feel would solve these issues and that is playing the women's and the men's game at the same time, as is done in tennis and the Olympics.

There are genuine concerns about playing on turf as German goalkeeper Nadine Angerer told Sports Illustrated: "We are landing all the time, and it’s really bad … It’s really embarrassing. Seriously, it’s concrete".

This however is not a human rights issue, and debates on this should be ended quickly.

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Topics:
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World Cup

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