The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Before you click away, we have something to ask you…

Do you value independent journalism that focuses on the issues that matter? Do you think Canada needs more in-depth, fact-based reporting? So do we. If you’d like to be part of the solution, we’d love it if you joined us in working on it.

The Tyee is an independent, paywall-free, reader-funded publication. While many other newsrooms are getting smaller or shutting down altogether, we’re bucking the trend and growing, while still keeping our articles free and open for everyone to read.

The reason why we’re able to grow and do more, and focus on quality reporting, is because our readers support us in doing that. Over 5,000 Tyee readers chip in to fund our newsroom on a monthly basis, and that supports our rockstar team of dedicated journalists.

Join a community of people who are helping to build a better journalism ecosystem. You pick the amount you’d like to contribute on a monthly basis, and you can cancel any time.

Help us make Canadian media better by joining Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.
News

FIFA Women's Turf War Heats Up

Canadian Soccer Association files opposition to gender discrimination complaint.

By Bob Mackin 15 Oct 2014 | TheTyee.ca

North Vancouver-based journalist Bob Mackin, a regular contributor to The Tyee, has reported for local, regional, national and international media outlets since 1990. Find his Tyee articles here.

image atom
U.S. forward Abby Wambach is one of 18 players from 11 countries who filed a gender discrimination case in the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario earlier this month. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

The Canadian Soccer Association is countering charges by players who say the use of synthetic turf pitches in the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup is gender discrimination.

In its Oct. 9 response to the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario, CSA lawyer Joe Arvay of Vancouver said the application for an expedited hearing by 18 players from 11 countries should be thrown out because the players waited until Oct. 1 to file a complaint. The 24-nation tournament runs June 6 to July 5, 2015.

"CSA's bid on behalf of Canada to host the competition always premised on the use of turf in accordance with the rules relating to the competition," Arvay wrote. "The applicants have been aware of this for at least a year and a half, and probably for three years, since Canada was awarded the right to hold the competition in 2011.

"It is well understood that a complainant who fails to file an application promptly after identifying the alleged human rights violation will not be provided with an expedited hearing."

David Wright, lawyer representing the players, wrote in the Oct. 1 filing that artificial turf increased the risk of injuries such as turf burn, turf toe and knee or ankle sprains and tears. "The use of turf devalues the players' dignity, state of mind and self-respect by requiring them to play on a second-class surface before tens of thousands of stadium spectators and a global broadcast audience," Wright wrote.

Arvay's submission said the assertion that turf is second-class is "highly contentious and will be subject of extensive expert evidence. In addition, the complaint involves an international body (FIFA) with its own governing statute and regulations, a national organization, six host cities in various provinces and facilities with diverse ownership and multiple users."

Not only have the players filed their complaint at the 11th hour, Arvay argued it would be unrealistic to install natural grass in the host stadiums in Moncton, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Vancouver.

"There are not enough grass fields in existence in suitable Canadian stadiums to host the competition. It is clearly impractical to reconstruct the various venues, including three CFL stadiums, to include grass playing fields to sufficient quality. While the applicants suggest that grass fields could be temporarily laid over the turf fields, the results of using temporary grass fields have been very mixed."

No back-up plan

Tatjana Haenni, FIFA's deputy tournament director, said during a site tour of Vancouver's B.C. Place stadium, the venue for the July 5 final, that FIFA had no back-up plan and would proceed with synthetic turf pitches in all six venues.

Arvay's reply said FIFA's statutes prohibit discrimination, including gender discrimination, and Laws of the Game allow matches on natural or artificial surfaces that meet FIFA standards. FIFA statutes also allow for disputes to be adjudicated by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Switzerland.

The complaint was made Oct. 1 by 18 players from 11 countries. None of the players is Canadian, plays on a Canadian team, or lives or plays in Ontario.

"They are not authorized to and do not speak on behalf of the teams which have qualified for or attempting to qualify for the competition."

Wright wants a hearing by Nov. 26 and, ultimately, an order against the CSA. "Requiring the female athletes to play on a substandard surface while their male counterparts have been, and continue to be, afforded the best surface for their tournament is gender-based discrimination," he wrote.  [Tyee]

Read more: Rights + Justice

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

Tyee Poll: Are You Preparing for the Next Climate Disaster?

Take this week's poll