Tom Hanks voices concern over turf usage in 2015 Women’s World Cup

Tom Hanks, a fan of the Barclays Premier League club Aston Villa, expressed his opinion on FIFA's decision to use artificial turf in next summer's Women's World Cup in Canada.  

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TORONTO —

Tom Hanks takes his soccer seriously. And when the Women’s World Cup comes to Canada in 2015, he wants the games played on grass fields.

The actor is adding his voice to those protesting the use of artificial turf for the six Canadian venues. On Friday, Hanks tweeted: ”Opinion: Women’s World Cup is the best Soccer of the year. Hey FIFA, they deserve real grass. Put in sod.”

In Toronto this month, FIFA President Sepp Blatter lauded the quality of today’s artificial turf. Still, the players in the letter say the risk for injury remains greater than on grass surfaces.

More than 40 international players, aghast at the prospect of playing the tournament on the artificial surfaces planned for all six venues, have retained an international team of lawyers, citing gender discrimination.

A letter sent on July 28, a copy of which was obtained by FOXSoccer.com, called artificial turf, "a surface widely recognized as inferior in international soccer. The proposal [of its use] is discriminatory and violates Canadian law."

"The best players in the world deserve premier playing surfaces. Simply put, artificial turf is not a premier surface in the soccer world," the letter continued. "Singling out this women’s tournament for substandard treatment is a mistake. … If your organizations will not engage in a meaningful dialogue on how to correct the discriminatory treatment of women players, we are prepared to pursue legal action which we are confident should succeed.

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"Should you refuse to voluntarily fix the field situation, legal recourse is available and will be utilized. Consigning women to a second-class surface is gender discrimination that violates European charters and numerous provisions of Canadian law, including human rights codes and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms."