MOSCOW, October 30 (RIA Novosti) – The Men’s FIFA World Cup tournament could be played on artificial turf "sooner rather than later", Jerome Valcke, FIFA Secretary General, said in an interview with the organization’s website.
He responded to the criticism of the decision that the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada will not be played on grass.
"By the way, for many years now, any organizer of a FIFA event – irrespective of whether it be a men’s or women’s competition, including the men’s World Cup – has had the right to propose for the tournament to be played on artificial turf, provided that it is of the highest quality and the same playing surface is used for all venues and training sites. It could well be that sooner rather than later the men’s World Cup will also be played on artificial pitches," Valcke said.
Traditionally, all of the men’s and women’s World Cups have been played on grass. However, FIFA made a decision to use artificial turf for 2015 women’s FIFA World Cup.
A number of leading women players considered the decision discriminatory and have filed a legal challenge to play on third-generation synthetic surfaces.
Valcke told FIFA’s website that the decision on the 2015 event was made "due to the extreme climate in the host country".
"As has already been explained, this is not a question of money, or of differences between men’s and women’s events but it is a matter of the natural conditions in Canada: we want to guarantee consistent top-level playing conditions for all 24 teams during the event, both in the official stadiums and at the training sites. This has been the sole reason behind the decision to play on artificial turf from day one," he added.