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Abby Wambach says FIFA’s stubbornness led it to turn down free offers to install grass in World Cup stadiums

In 2014 FIFA, the international governing body of soccer announced they would use artificial turf during the 2015 Woman’s World Cup. Scotts immediately recognized this decision tarnished not only the purity of soccer, but all outdoor activities and brings player safety into question. As a result of FIFA’s decision Scotts joined forces with Abby Wambach, 2012 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year and outspoken advocate of real grass fields to launch #KeepItReal.

Women’s World Cup players are some of the best athletes in the world, playing the biggest soccer tournament in the world, so why shouldn’t they play on the best surface in the world? The #KeepItReal campaign leverages social media, specifically Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, creating a public space for soccer fans and outdoor enthusiasts across the world to share and learn about the benefits of real grass surfaces.

Despite its alarming negative health and environmental consequences there are too many artificial turf surfaces are in place for athletic fields and playgrounds across North America. Athletes from the soccer community and beyond, both male and female have pledged their disagreement with competitive soccer being played on artificial versus natural grass surfaces. Scotts might not be able to alter FIFA’s decision, but we can take a stand for what’s right in the future – soccer, along with all recreational activities, should be enjoyed on real grass, not an imitation.

While the Women’s World Cup being played on artificial turf is only one example, it is indicative of a larger trend that is concerning. We cannot allow the usage of artificial turf to escalate and become the norm for athletic fields and playgrounds. The added benefit of this campaign is that the more people who share the #KeepItReal hashtag on social media, the more natural green spaces the company will refurbish for youth soccer across America.

Scotts has partnered with several known athletic and social media influencers to drive the conversation around #KeepItReal.  Here are some examples of the tweets that you’ll see from the @ScottsLawnCare and our #KeeptItReal supporters:

#KeepItReal is making a real impact. We are well under way in achieving our six field refurbishments; fields have been identified in priority markets and aligned with influencers.

Join us in this fight! Show your support of this initiative by tagging @ScottsLawnCare on Twitter or@ScottsLawn on Instagram using the hashtag #KeepItReal. Remember, the more #KeepItReal shares on Twitter and Instagram, the more youth natural green spaces Scott’s will refurbish.

Meet Abby Wambach and hear how she plays the game of soccer. She’s a champion and her game is real. And that’s what she wants for the fields she plays on.

Watch the YouTube video here: