ZURICH—Following widespread complaints that teams in the Women’s World Cup have been forced to play on synthetic fields, officials from FIFA held a press conference Thursday advising players unhappy with the turf to spend more time in midair. “In light of recent concerns, we are encouraging all players unsatisfied with the current field conditions to remain suspended in the air for as long as possible during matches,” said FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, adding that players can minimize the higher risk of injury associated with artificial turf by keeping their bodies at least six inches above the rubber-based field during jumping headers or scissor kicks. “Anyone worried about severe bruising or painful skin abrasions should consider continuously leaping throughout all 90 minutes of a game in order to avoid too much direct contact with the playing surface. And while the turf does reach temperatures of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, the air above it is at least 20 to 30 degrees cooler, which is a perfectly suitable and reasonable alternative.” Valcke then quickly assured reporters that all men’s teams at the 2018 World Cup in Russia will play on perfectly manicured grass fields of the highest quality.
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