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Megan Rapinoe says playing a World Cup on turf is 'bullshit'

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The United States national team star sees the decision as a sign of disrespect to women's soccer.

Doug Pensinger

Megan Rapinoe has spent most of this NWSL season attempting to come back from various injuries. Those efforts may not have been hampered by the fact that the Seattle Reign play and train on artificial turf, but she hardly thinks it has helped, either. Like virtually ever soccer player on earth, the United States midfielder is convinced a good grass pitch is superior in virtually every way to even the best artificial one.

Along those lines, she's not happy that FIFA has allowed Canada to host next summer's Women's World Cup primarily on artificial turf fields. Five of the six stadiums that will be used for arguably the most popular event in all of women's sports have artificial turf and just seven of the 52 matches will be played on natural grass. No senior men's or women's World Cup match has ever before been played on artificial turf.

"I think it's absolutely absurd that we're playing on turf and it's really a slap in the face to women's football by FIFA and just a show of disrespect," Rapinoe said on Sunday following just her fourth appearance of the season with the Seattle Reign. "I understand for the league not every team is going to be able to have a grass surface, but I think FIFA made $2 billion on the World Cup.

"Maybe you're not having a thousand times more injuries, but there's an aspect to the purity of the game and the quality of the game that is played on grass that is different on turf. They can say what they want, but it's all bullshit to me."