PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) An Oregon congressman is throwing his support behind players who are protesting the plan to use artificial turf at the Women's World Cup next summer in Canada.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer has written his colleagues to join the effort. He will gather their signatures for a letter he plans to send early next week to Jeffrey Webb, president of the North, Central America and Caribbean soccer federation and vice president of FIFA, soccer's international governing body.
A group of athletes, including U.S. national team players Abby Wambach, Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux, have called on FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association to scrap plans to play the World Cup on artificial surfaces.
The athletes say the decision to play the tournament on fake grass amounts to gender discrimination, because the men would never be forced to play the sport's premier tournament on turf.