Only Grass Pitches Allowed at 2023 Women’s World Cup

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FIFA has decided to nix synthetic turf fields at the 2023 Women’s World Cup. The stipulation was included in requirements sent to those countries bidding for the international tournament.  

The News Tribune notes that the new rule comes in the wake of controversy following the 2015 Women’s World Cup, which was played in Canada. At the time, some players threatened to launch a gender discrimination case — which was later withdrawn — because men’s World Cup games have always been played on natural grass. The players argued that turf is less forgiving than grass and impacts the game because of concerns over injury.

While full turf fields won’t be permitted in 2023, hybrid systems will. Such systems involve weaving millions of synthetic grass fiber between and beneath natural grass.

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