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Artificial pitches like ´hot coal´ – Heyman

Australia striker Michelle Heyman has compared playing on the artificial pitches at the Women’s World Cup to “walking on hot coal”.

The synthetic turf in use in Canada has been a topic of controversy both in the lead-up to the World Cup and during the tournament, with players complaining of the added injuries they are suffering because games are not being played on grass.

“It’s like you can’t really get grip on your feet and your feet keep sliding around in your boots because they’re that hot and kind of sweaty,” Heyman told the Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday.

“[The player’s feet] just turn white, your skin is all ripped off. It’s like walking on hot coal with your skin blistering and cracking.”

Australia’s squad is concerned by how hot the pitch in Edmonton could get during their quarter-final against title-holders Japan on Saturday.

In the tournament opener between hosts Canada and China in Edmonton, the pitch temperature was reportedly recorded at 49 degrees, more than double the air temperature of 23.

The anticipated temperature in Edmonton on Saturday is 31 degrees.

“We spoke about it today that we’ll make sure that we have ice jackets and that kind of thing to keep our body temperature down because no one wants anyone out on the field and faint or anything like that so we have to look after ourselves and the key is hydration,” Heyman said.

In the lead-up to the World Cup, players had attempted to force FIFA to use natural grass through the legal system but eventually gave up as the tournament drew closer.

Thu 25 Jun, 2015
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