Turf Possible for 2010 World Cup

FIFA president Sepp Blatter has admitted that there is a possibility of games being played on artificial turf at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

"We have envisaged, though it's not yet a final decision, that the 2010 World Cup could be played on artificial turf," Blatter told BBC Sport. "I think it's now time in this region to think about artificial turf."Under the "Win in Africa with Africa" project, FIFA is laying an artificial pitch in all of its 53 member nations on the African continent, with the only exception being South Africa. Due to the extreme climates, many fields can be damaged or even unusable. Blatter suggests that playing on an artificial surface would equal the playing field as all countries would have the same field conditions, no matter their climate.

"An artificial pitch gives you the same conditions during the whole year," said Blatter, who expressed his concern over the quality of the 2008 Nations Cup pitches in Ghana.

"Artificial turf is a solution to the owners of stadiums - you can use it more than just once a week, you can use it for other sports," he suggested. "I think it's better than uneven ground, where control of the ball is not easy."

Several of Major League Soccer's clubs use artificial turf, including the New England Revolution, New York Red Bulls, Toronto FC and Real Salt Lake, though New York and RSL are currently construction their own grass-field stadia. Many critics of the surface claim it is responsible for odd bounces and takes a greater toll on the athletes' body.

David Beckham famously spoke out against the surface last year when trying to recover from a myriad of injuries, saying the FieldTurf surface was one of the things "not right" about Major League Soccer. He later issued an apology after realizing that FieldTurf is an actual company and not just the name of the surface. The English soccer star also admitted that three FieldTurf pitches are in use at one of his youth academies.

"It's difficult but it's something we have to deal with," said the Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder. It's part of the MLS and we have to come to terms with it and I'm sure it will be fine."


Anonymous said...

no way, with the heat on the turf the players would burn

Michael said...

they seem to forget that the stadiums built in South Africa are used for Rugby, about 80% more than they are used for anty football, since rugby is the main focal Sport of South Africa, to put TURF on these pitches is insane! And as a side note, turf surely cannot provide the same quality of grip as soft earthen ground can. At the speeds that these athletes are moving how could they possibly find any measure of true control.