A bipartisan group of 13 US senators have urged Fifa, the governing body for world soccer, to switch next year’s women’s World Cup in Canada to natural grass, saying the decision to play on artificial turf is a “short-sighted and counterproductive decision”.

More than 40 international women’s players have filed a lawsuit in Canadaagainst local organisers and Fifa, claiming that is discriminatory to play a women’s World Cup on artificial turf when the men’s tournament is always held on grass.

The group of senators – led by Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown – also wrote to US Soccer president Sunil Gulati, urging him to use his influence on Fifa’s executive committee to bring about a change in policy.

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