Today, top female players have dropped their lawsuit against FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association about artificial turf at the Women’s World Cup.
The group, represented by notable players like Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan, Heather O’Reilly and others, dropped the lawsuit after filing in August. The players made the claim that FIFA was discriminating against females because FIFA has never had the Men’s World Cup on turf and in the time where that was a possibility (USA 1994), FIFA came up with the solution of putting natural grass over the turf.
After a final compromise to only have natural grass for the Semifinals, 3rd Place Game and World Cup Final which went for naught, the players ended their fight and will play on artificial turf. A statement by Hampton Dillinger, Attorney for the players group, explained why they’re dropping the lawsuit.
“Since a coalition of the world’s best female soccer players initiated legal action, the tactics of FIFA and CSA have included: threatening protesting players with suspension, doing everything possible to delay a final court ruling despite the players’ need to know what surface the tournament will be held on so they can train accordingly, suggesting they would either defy an adverse court ruling or cancel the tournament and, most recently, rejecting the players’ undeniably fair settlement offer. In the face of such irresponsible actions by FIFA and CSA, the players have elected to end their legal fight. The players are doing what FIFA and CSA have proven incapable of: putting the sport of soccer first.”
From the way this has played out, it was clear that FIFA never took the lawsuit seriously. There were no talks, no compromise and it was as if they knew the players weren’t going to boycott and just drop the lawsuit. In the end, the players fought for what they felt was right and the entity they were going against is the most important and powerful group concerning international soccer. It was obvious from the start that it was going to be an uphill battle to actually get anything done. If anything, this was an attempt to raise awareness and promote discussion about inequality between men’s and women’s soccer and they accomplished that.