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Synthetic pitch for England


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Synthetic pitch for England

By Lewis Rutledge - Created on 12 Jul 2007


England's Euro 2008 qualifier in Russia will be played on an artificial pitch, the Football Association has been informed.

Russian officials have confirmed the potentially decisive Group E game on 17th October will take place at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

The stadium seats 84,000 and will allow more than 7,000 England supporters to make the trip to Russia, but the game will not be played on grass.

Russia coach Guus Hiddink is understood to have wanted the match played on natural grass, but it will not be possible to lay the turf in time.

The pitch has been authorised by Uefa and Fifa and was used by

Spartak Moscow in last season's UEFA Champions League.

England have never played a competitive game on a synthetic surface before and Steve McClaren is already searching for a similar pitch to train on ahead of the trip to Moscow.

The clash with Russia is England's penultimate game in Group E.

"An FA delegation travelled to Moscow earlier this week and we understand the match will be played on an artificial surface," confirmed an FA spokesman.

"Steve McClaren is aware of this and is looking forward to preparing accordingly."

The Luzhniki Stadium will stage the Champions League final next May but a grass surface will have been laid by that time.

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quote:Originally posted by CanadianSoccerFan

Luzhniki actually has the exact same FIFA 2-star FieldTurf we have at BMO.

Too bad the CSA doesn't have the balls to call McClaren and the FA and try for a friendly. Canada is already playing one game at BMO in September (Costa Rica), but the international break allows for two. Bringing in England would be amazing and guarantee that our A squad flies in. It would be a guaranteed sellout, and England could also afford to pay their own way, so the CSA would make money on this one and therefore can't make excuses.

I don't know if the game in Moscow is at the start or end of the October break, but it doesn't matter as England would never do that much flying. The September break is the perfect spot and Canada will already be gathering a team for it. Ottawa has two-star Fieldturf as well, but BMO's looks better and it would be the better option even though it has a smaller capacity.

I know that this won't happen, but fans are allowed to dream. I guess after hearing about how Argentina was willing to play us as preparation for facing the USA in Copa America, we can dream about using our Fieldturf as a lure for big teams.

Do you think Canada's MNT can mimic the style and tactics of Russia?

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There is no room in England's schedule for them to play a friendly with us before their match against Russia. All the available dates are taken up by Euro qualifyers and a friendly against Germany on Aug. 22.

God forbid we ever let facts get in the way of a good anti-CSA rant on this forum though.

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Plus I don't see enough incentive for England to fly that far to play in front of a measily 20,000 spectators.

Ironically, I doubt the English players or the FA are anywhere near as obsessed with plastic pitches as the average poster in this forum. ;)

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Massive Attack and Amacpher:

what part of "I know that this won't happen, but fans are allowed to dream" do you not understand? It was just a fun post, don't take it too seriously.

I did not know that England's schedule was fully booked, but I'm not surprised. I know that McClaren could not drag England's A squad to Canada for a friendly in midseason without having Sir Alex throw a shoe at him and Jose sick his dog on him.

ManU has the same/similar turf at its' training grounds in Carrington, and Arsenal have an indoor facility near London with this rug. Both are considered to be among McClaren's favourite places for training the England squad, so he will probably arrange for a few scrimages on their plastic pitches as part of England's preparations.

Truthfully, Canada would be better off playing Central American teams (like Costa Rica this September), but as long as Canada uses every international game for some sort of game/training camp in preparation for WCQ, then I will be happy.

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