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Women's World Cup players drop legal action over turf

Rich Lam/Getty Images

The Women's World Cup players who had brought legal action against FIFA and the Canada Soccer Association have abandoned their case. The action has been withdrawn at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and the World Cup will go ahead on turf without any legal cloud hanging over it.

Just because the players have withdrawn their action does not mean they agree with the decision to play on turf. There will undoubtedly be plenty of talk around the tournament about the surface and the players won't necessarily be quiet about it. Every match at the World Cup will be played on turf and it will be a point of contention.

For the players, the argument centered around the inequality between men and women. While every World Cup the men have played has been played has been on grass, the women were being asked to play on turf. And while FIFA have said that they would be okay with a World Cup for either gender on turf, nobody really believes they would ask the men to play on the artificial surface.

Some might question why the players were calling off the legal fight if they still felt strongly about the issue. Their attorney Hampton Dellinger said that the players were "putting the sport of soccer first."

Unfortunately, Canada has been the target of a lot of the anger, which isn't especially fair. They were the only country that bid to host the tournament. When nobody else in the world wanted to put on the Women's World Cup, Canada did, and they have thrown a fair bit of weight behind the competition. Their stadiums have turf, for logical reasons, and they are doing the tournament as best they can.

As for ire directed at FIFA, that is very much deserved.