A class-action lawsuit has been filed just days after a U.S. women’s national team friendly, originally scheduled to be played in Honolulu, was canceled by the U.S. Soccer Federation due to poor and unsafe field conditions.
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USWNT star Megan Rapinoe tore her ACL the day before Sunday’s scheduled game in what U.S. Soccer called a non-contact injury. The condition of the playing surface at Aloha Stadium was shown in photographs to be tearing apart at the seams. U.S. Soccer made the decision to cancel the game the next day.
According to a report from Hawaii News Now, the lawsuit was filed this week by fans who had purchased tickets totaling more than $300. Despite being fully reimbursed for their game tickets, Brandee Faria, one of two lawyers handling the lawsuit, explained that many fans from Hawaii’s numerous other islands lost significant money through travel costs that will not be reimbursed.
Faria, on why fans chose to file the lawsuit:
The lawyers said fans from the neighbor islands and the mainland lost even more money because they won’t be reimbursed for their travel costs.
“They’re out thousands of dollars. Air fare and hotel accommodations. And not just that. This event was scheduled on a Sunday so you’re going to have to take time off work for the outer island,” Faria said.
“(They’re) outraged, outraged. An even bigger outrage is they didn’t find out until an email notification at 12:59 a.m. on the day of the event.”
In the days since Sunday’s cancellation, USWNT players and fans alike have called for equal treatment and consideration given to the men’s team receivers be given to the women’s team with regards to playing games on natural grass surfaces.
U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati has since apologized for the game’s cancellation and, on behalf of the federation, accepted full responsibility for the “series of mistakes” that led to the playing surface having not been properly vetted ahead of the USWNT’s arrival.