January 12, 2015 / 5:06 PM / 5 years ago

Women offer FIFA 'good-faith' proposal in turf war

(Reuters) - Players at this year’s women’s World Cup, trying to settle a lawsuit against FIFA, will play on artificial turf as long as the final matches are on natural grass, their lawyer said on Monday.

Journalists are reflected in a logo at the FIFA headquarters after a meeting of the executive committee in Zurich October 4, 2013.REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

The proposal is the latest twist in a rolling dispute that picked up steam in August when players said a proposal to play the June-6-July 5 tournament in Canada on artificial turf was discriminatory and violated human rights.

“The battle over the use of plastic pitches at the women’s World Cup can easily and quickly come to a peaceful resolution,” attorney Hampton Dellinger said in a statement.

“All FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association need to do is accept the players’ feasible, affordable, and more than fair deal.”

FIFA has previously said there were no plans to change the decision to play the tournament on artificial surfaces.

The players, who filed a lawsuit against soccer’s governing body and the Canadian Soccer Association last year, are now proposing playing all but the semi-final, third-place and final matches on artificial turf.

The proposal lays out how top quality grass fields could be prepared for and installed in each of the three stadiums hosting the tournament’s final two rounds.

According to the proposal, the plan is modeled on systems used successfully for previous men’s and women’s World Cups, and is approved by leading world experts on sports grass.

The tournament’s final game will be played in Vancouver with Montreal and Edmonton hosting semi-finals. The third-place game will also be in Edmonton.

“The players continue to believe a women’s World Cup should not be singled out for field conditions men’s World Cups have never been subjected to,” the proposal said.

“But this settlement offer represents a good-faith attempt at compromise.”

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto

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