Wednesday, October 29, 2014

FIFA Allegedly Threatens Retaliation Against Players

In the latest installment of "I Can't Believe What FIFA Has Just Done" several players participating in a Canadian lawsuit to play the 2015 Women's World Cup on grass, not artificial turf, have alleged reprisals against them for their role in the legal action.

The reprisals were noted on Inside World Football based on information provided by The Sport Spectacle blog.  The latter provides a direct link (here in PDF) to the explosive allegations, made in a legal filing.

Among the claims:
  • Teresa Noyola ... was slated to play in World Cup qualifying matches in October of 2014. Soon before the matches began Mexican Federation officials communicated to Ms. Noyola that FIFA was preparing to suspend or unaffiliate her because of her participation in this action
  • Camille Abily and Élise Bussaglia, both of France ... were led to believe that their continued participation in this action would lead to retaliation by FIFA in the awarding of the 2019 women’s World Cup. 
  • Sunil Gulati, President of the United States Soccer Federation, indicated that he believed players risked suspension by FIFA – carried out by national federations -- as a result of their application.
As a result of these threats, the three players have withdrawn from the turf lawsuit.

This is a story deserving broader media coverage. Whatever you might think about the merits of artificial turf, there should be no question that such reprisals and intimidation - if accurate - have no place in sports governance disputes.


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