Canadian soccer head enters turf-gate fray
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) The president of the Canadian Soccer Association says it's misinformation and hyperbole to claim female players are being discriminated against because of plans to use artificial turf next year in the FIFA Women's World Cup.
''I will say that is the biggest form of misinformation I have ever heard in my life,'' Victor Montagliani said Thursday in an address to the Vancouver Board of Trade. ''Those of you who know me, know that there would be a few more adjectives before that.''
Montagliani said FIFA, soccer's world governing body, will make the final decision on what turf will be used during the tournament to be played in six Canadian cities.
BC Place Stadium in Vancouver will be the site of nine matches, including the final. Other games will be held in Moncton, New Brunswick; Montreal; Ottawa, Ontario; Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Edmonton, Alberta.
A group of 40 players have threatened a lawsuit over the plan to use artificial turf. They argue female athletes are being discriminated against because the men's World Cup is played on natural grass.
''That's nothing but misinformation and typical hyperbole that has no room in the game,'' Montagliani said.
Montagliani couldn't say if it was even possible to install natural grass at the six stadiums in the time remaining before the tournament begins.
''I'm not a technician,'' he said. ''That's not my expertise. Those are things that are in the bailiwick of FIFA.''