Abby Wambach Knows Why FIFA Turned Down Free Grass Fields
Giving up and moving on are two very different things.
With that in mind, here are two facts I know about Abby Wambach.
She does not like to:
1. Give up (Exhibit A: Her header in stoppage time versus Brazil in the now legendary 2011 Women’s World Cup quarterfinals).
2. Move on.
She’s a fighter. She seeps passion. She is Theodore Roosevelt’s Woman in the Arena (one of the all-time greatest quotes, by the way).
So you can only imagine how much it must have pained Wambach and the other players who sued FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association over their plans to play the Women’s World Cup on artificial turf towalk away from the suit. But a World Cup is upon them, and sometimes moving on is your best choice, for sanity and success.
What might surprise you in all of this, however, is that FIFA did have the option to put in all-grass fields. According to Wambach, The Scotts Company made it known to FIFA that the lawn care specialist was willing to provide grass for the entire Women’s World Cup event and all fields.
FIFA’s response? No, thank you. According to Wambach, FIFA claimed that wasn’t part of Canada’s original bid; the bid was only field turf and soccer’s governing body was honoring that bid.
When asked whether she heard that response second hand or if it was told to her directly, Wambach said, “I heard it from the second highest guy, [FIFA secretary general] Jerome Valcke, himself.”
This surprises me (said no one).