The US National Women’s Soccer League has issued a “significant” fine to Western New York Flash following a match between the team and Seattle Reign that was held at Frontier Field, home to a minor league baseball team.
Though Western New York Flash usually hold soccer matches at Sahlen’s Stadium, a scheduling clash with a music concert meant the game had to be moved to the baseball park, where it was held on an extremely narrow field. The temporary soccer field was 58 yards wide – sufficient for FIFA standards but not in accordance with NWSL guidelines.
In a statement, NWSL commissioner Jeff Plush highlighted “a lack of organizational oversight in both preparing and then operating Frontier Field to the standards of a professional soccer match. In the future, we will not deviate from our standards or grant exceptions for changes to field sizes that are not in accordance with our standards. Moving forward, we must, and will, work together with all of our partners to safeguard the integrity of our game and make certain that it is always respected both on and off the field.”
Western New York Flash head coach Paul Riley has also been suspended, and the NWSL has also stated that fines collected will be donated to the US Soccer Foundation, the exclusive charitable partner of the league.
July 21, 2016