Why Aren't The US Women's Soccer Team Playing On Real Grass?

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The U.S. women's soccer team won its first match against Australia Monday night. But, they were missing a crucial part of the sport.

NBC News reports the women are "being forced" to play all of the Women's World Cup games on articifial turf, rather than real grass. Though, the men's games are all played on natural grass.

It's a condition U.S. forward Abby Wambach calls "kind of a nightmare." According to Wambach, playing on turf makes for an entirely different game. It changes the way the ball bounces — not to mention the "turf burns" the players get. (If you can stomach it, check out #turfburn on Twitter, where some of the players are documenting their injuries.)

This is the first time a Women's World Cup will be played on turf.

According to NBC, all six World Cup fields are made of turf. Wambach and players from other teams filed a lawsuit in 2014 demanding FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association replace turf with real grass. But, they inevitably dropped the suit when they were informed that they filed it too late.

Hampton Dellinger, the women's representative for the lawsuit, told NBC that FIFA and the CSA "never would have forced a men's World Cup onto plastic pitches." Their "refusal to do right by the women's game has been enabled by the actions or silence of leading national federations."

So, the only question remaining for FIFA and the CSA is: What gives? (NBC)


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