Abby Wambach blasts artificial turf

United States women's team forward Abby Wambach spoke critically this week of plans to play the 2015 Women's World Cup on artificial turf in five of the six Canadian stadiums, according to a report.

"We believe this is a shame not only for the players but for the fans. The game plays differently on artificial surface, not only because of fear of injury but because it's a different surface," Wambach told Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl. "You can also talk about it being a gender discrimination issue. Would they ever let the men's World Cup be played on an artificial surface?"

Wambach is one of several U.S. players, among them Alex Morgan and Carli Lloyd, who spoke out via Twitter after the report about the plans to use turf in Canada.

Wambach's tweet said: "I usually don't retweet articles about myself, but I think is too important to stay silent on. The men should worry too, they could be next."

According to the report, Wambach said she knew natural grass could be a matter of economics, and she aimed to create awareness.

"You have to get the big names across the world, the Homare Sawas and Alex Morgans and Lotta Schelins," she told SI. "A bunch of us on our team have spoken to each other about it. But thoughts only go so far. We have to start putting our words into action."

The U.S. women, who are coached by Tom Sermanni and take on Germany on Friday, have won three straight Olympic gold medals, including two under former coach Pia Sundhage, but have not won the Women's World Cup since 1999.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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