Players who had begun legal action over the use of artificial surfaces at this year's Women's World Cup have dropped their case, their lawyers said.

A group of elite women's players had sued FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA), arguing that artificial turf surfaces for the tournament, which takes place in Canada in from June 6 to July 5, were unsafe and that it was discriminatory for women to play on surfaces.

The men's World Cup is played on natural grass pitches.

FIFA and the CSA had argued that the surfaces had passed their sanctioning standards and that the bidding process for hosting the tournament had made clear that artificial surfaces would be used. They denied the charge of discrimination.

An attorney for the players said that the complaint with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario had been withdrawn.

Attorney Hampton Dellinger says while the action did not result in grass fields for the World Cup, it succeeded in shining a light on gender inequality in sports. 

United States national team striker Abby Wambach, one of those who had led the legal fight, had said she hoped the case would bring about change in the future.

Source: Agencies