The World Cup Double Standard

A lot of heat surrounds the 2022 World Cup, but a World Cup with more issues to player safety is coming up that gets little attention
by Chris Hockman   |   Friday, November 15, 2013

John Hefti Photography/Soccer Newsday - USWNT

At the Alamodome, the United States Women’s National Team beat Australia 4-0 in early October. But what was interesting in terms of looking at the future World Cup was the injury suffered by Kyah Simon, who turned on the ball and went down shortly after coming on as a substitute.

It turned out that Simon had torn her ACL right before the start of the W-League season that has ended her season before it started. And she might not play in the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

The issue with the injury was that the Alamodome is turf and it is that turf that likely contributed to Simon's injury. It’s a worrying sign ahead of the 2015 World Cup in Canada, which is going to be held entirely on turf.

While that gives a significant advantage to teams like the USA, Canada and Sweden, who have domestic leagues that play predominately on turf, it's a real danger for other countries.

Despite this proven record of injuries, nothing has been done about this, and outside initial outbursts, there has been no outrage surrounding the choice of venues.

That's the real issue here: Canada has non-turf venues. While it would have been impossible for Canada to host a non-turf World Cup, they could have at least had some venues that were grass and minimize the risks.

The other big issue is no one is standing up for the women. When Russia won the 2018 World Cup bid, there was discussion about turf and the bid committee insisted they'd be playing on grass, yet nobody bats an eye-lid about the women playing an entire World Cup on turf.

Yes, it's hot in Qatar in summer, everyone knows that, but FIFA will not be moving that World Cup and Qatar certainly have the money and the ability to manage an indoor World Cup on grass pitches, which will minimize the risk to players.

There are articles written daily about Qatar and how much of a shame it is player safety isn't a part of the World Cup bid.

It's a shame that same courtesy isn't extended to the women.


Univ W. Sydney & Youthworks Coll.
Club Domestic:
Houston Dynamo, San Antonio Scorpions, Austin Aztex
Club Foreign:
Central Coast Mariners
Originally from Australia found football (or soccer as you Yanks call it) a great connection in a new country. Freelance writer since 2005 covering Australian and US Soccer. Based out of San Antonio but can regularly be seen in Houston, Austin and Dallas.