September 30, 2014

TORONTO (AP) A FIFA official visiting Canada in advance of the Women's World Cup next summer says there are no plans to reconsider playing the premier tournament on artificial turf.

A group of players are currently preparing a lawsuit in protest of the turf surface, claiming that it exacerbates injuries, and changes the way the ball moves and the players react. At the heart of the matter is gender discrimination, because the men's World Cup would never be played on fake grass, the athletes say.

Tatjana Haenni, FIFA's deputy director of the competitions division and head of women's competitions, said: ''We play on artificial turf and there's no Plan B.''

FIFA has appointed an independent examiner to make sure the turf at the six venues meets the governing body's strict guidelines for turf in top-tier tournaments. The consultant is traveling with a FIFA delegation that is inspecting the sites.

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