Female players say fake soccer turf violates Charter, threaten legal action
JEFF GRAY – LAW REPORTER
The Globe and Mail
Published Tuesday, Aug. 05 2014, 1:34 PM EDT
Making the world’s top female soccer players compete in World Cup games next year on artificial turf at stadiums across Canada is gender discrimination and violates human-rights law and even the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, according to a group of international players.
A group of international women’s soccer stars has retained two elite law firms, Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP in the United States and Osler Hoskin & Harcourt in Canada, and is threatening legal action over the decision to play the 2015 Women’s World Cup on a “second-class surface” they say causes more injuries and “degrades the women’s game.” The law firms are working for free.
In a letter dated July 28 and sent to Canadian soccer officials and FIFA president Sepp Blatter, the group – which includes U.S. star Abby Wambach – demands a discussion about a switch to real turf, and a response by Aug. 4. As of Tuesday, according to a lawyer for the group, the invitation had not been taken up.
No current Canadian players are part of the group. However, the letter says former Canadian star Carrie Serwetnyk, who played for the national team in the 1980s and 1990s, is a supporter.
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