Stoney calls for ban on plastic pitches

Clare Rafferty

Chelsea’s Claire Rafferty chose to miss Chelsea Ladies’ match at Liverpool Ladies on April 27 because she feared injury on the artificial pitch

Arsenal defender Casey Stoney has called for a ban on artificial pitches in the Women’s Super League.

Liverpool Ladies currently play on an artificial surface at the Select Security Stadium in Widnes.

Last month Stoney’s England colleague Claire Rafferty refused to play on the pitch, citing injury concerns.

“I don’t think it’s right, especially if players have to miss out because of it,” Stoney said. “Ideally we’d play all our games on grass.”

She added: “I don’t think you have any 4G pitches in the men’s top league. It just puts people at risk, so it’s not ideal.”

Sunderland’s Lucy Staniforth has also criticised the Liverpool pitch, describing it as “absolutely abysmal” and “a serious injury risk”.

Last year, the Women’s World Cup in Canada was played on artificial turf, despite a legal challenge from leading players.

Clubs in the men’s Football League last year voted not to reintroduce artificial pitches.

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