Saturday U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team match against Trinidad and Tobago was cancelled due to turf concerns at Aloha Stadium.
U.S. Soccer says that all ticket purchasers will be fully refunded.
Star goal keeper Hope Solo tweeted a picture of the seam in the turf at the stadium during Saturday’s workout in Halawa.
Soccer fields are larger than football fields, so turf was added to the playing area. A soccer field is 110-120 yards long and 70-80 yards wide. A football field is 120 yards long and 53 1/3 yards wide.
FOX Sports reporter Laura Vescey quoted star forward Alex Morgan as saying:
“The training grounds that we were given and the playing surface of the stadium were horrible. I think it’s hard because no one’s really going to protect us but ourselves. So we’re put in a very hard position because obviously we want to play in front of these fans and we want to train before the game but injuries happen when you don’t protect yourself and when you’re not protected from those higher up from you.”
On Friday, star midfielder Megan Rapinoe tore her ACL during a workout at the University of Hawaii. There was no word on the connection between that injury and the calling off of the match.
FOX Sports interviewed U.S. Coach Jill Ellis who was adamant that the turf at Aloha Stadium is a separate issue from Rapinoe’s ACL injury.
Sunday’s game was expected to bring a large crowd into the 50,000 seat venue — including those who flew over from the neighbor islands — as well as a national television audience on FOX Sports 1.
U.S. Soccer released a statement saying they had determined that “the artificial turf surface is not suitable to hold an international soccer match.” The organization tested the playing surface during the WNT’s training session on Saturday and they made the decision to cancel the match after looking at all possible options available to get the field in a playable condition.
U.S. Soccer spokesman Neil Buethe said:
“We extend our sincere apologies to those fans who were scheduled to attend the U.S. Women’s National Team match in Hawaii. Player safety is our number one priority at all times and after a thorough inspection throughout the day, we determined it was in the best interest for both teams to not play the match. We regret not being able to play in front of our fantastic, loyal fans.”
Before the 2015 Women’s World Cup, players sued FIFA over the use of artificial turf. The players claimed the use of the turf was gender discrimination as the men’s World Cup has always been played on grass.
In a statement released late Saturday night, Aloha Stadium manager Scott Chan stated:
“We are extremely disappointed that this event will not take place at Aloha Stadium. U.S. Soccer officials informed us that this game will not be played at approximately nine this evening. We feel the people of Hawaii deserve to see an international soccer match of this caliber, however, we were unable to reach an agreement with U.S. Soccer to allow this event to happen.”
Ticket refund Information:
- Internet and phone orders will be automatically refunded with a confirmation sent via email.
- Fans that purchased tickets at Ticketmaster ticket centers will need to return their tickets to the location where the purchased was made to obtain a refund.
- Those who purchased tickets at Aloha Stadium will need to return to the venue ticket office which is open Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- If you bought tickets directly through U.S. Soccer, your refund will come from U.S. Soccer.
Fans with questions about their refund can contact their respective place of purchase directly:
- Ticketmaster Fan Support at 800-653-8000
- Aloha Stadium at (808) 483-2500
- U.S. Soccer at 312-528-1290 or firstname.lastname@example.org