NEWS

Zimbabwe rip up Fifa’s artificial pitch

The new pitch at Harare's Rufaro stadium

An artificial pitch donated by Fifa has been replaced by a natural surface at Harare’s Rufaro Stadium

Zimbabwe has removed an artificial pitch that was donated by Fifa in 2008 ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

As South Africa hosted the tournament, every nation on the continent received an artificial surface as part of Fifa’s Win In Africa With Africa project.

There were questions as to whether the surface at Harare’s Rufaro Stadium was good enough for top-flight football.

“A lot of players complained about the hard pitch,” said Lloyd Mutasa coach of local side Dynamos.

“Getting back to the natural turf is good for the players.”

The surface was not maintained properly and became worn out, and is believed to have been responsible for numerous injuries, particularly knee problems.

After months of work the stadium has re-opened with a natural grass surface, with the country’s most popular club Dynamos winning on the opening weekend of action.

Fifa believed that African countries would benefit greatly from the project as an artificial surface can be used as many times a day as wanted, and that it would help countries that struggled to maintain their pitches in very hot or very wet conditions.

But the quality of the donated pitches was not comparable to that of the artificial surfaces that are used in Europe even for training pitches.

So the much-vaunted project that saw then Fifa president Sepp Blatter inaugurate the Rufaro Stadium pitch will be considered a failure from Zimbabwe’s point of view.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/40780087

jaapschaap

July 31st, 2017

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