FFF chief: pitches at Euro 2016 grounds "could be better"
Noël le Graët calls on Ligue 1 clubs to prioritise the turf as criticism of surfaces continues. Improvements in Lille, he added, are a "failure"
French Football Federation (FFF) president Noël Le Graët told the country's top clubs on Wednesday to make the quality of their pitches an absolute priority, describing one ground at Euro 2016 as "a failure".
European governing body UEFA has said it is unhappy about the state of pitches, in particular in Marseille, Lille and Saint Denis where the showcase Stade de France is located. It appeared to point the finger at stadium owners and clubs.
"I would like to tell our clubs that having nice pitches has to be their absolute priority," Le Graët told a news conference at France's training camp outside Paris. "The quality of our pitches has to be better. We have great infrastructures but some of our pitches are not adapted to top-level football."
UEFA had asked for pitches in Nice, Marseille and Lille to be replaced, the FFF president said.
"For Nice, it worked. For Marseille, it was more complicated but we have indications that it will be better for the matches to come. As for Lille, it is a failure," he said. "Who's to blame? UEFA, the clubs? I think it's time to tell the clubs something needs to be done about this."
Almost halfway through the month-long, 24-team tournament, the demands on pitches have never been greater at a European Championship. Some stadia are hosting six games and wet weather across France is visibly having an impact.
With the exception of the Parc des Princes in Paris and Lens's Bollaert stadium, which are soccer-only venues, stadiums in the tournament have multiple uses as owners maximize commercial activity.
A French grass association accused UEFA of "scandalously" trying to pass the buck over the state of playing surfaces, laying the blame firmly on the governing body.
UEFA responded by saying it was entirely satisfied with the work done by its pitch consultant Richard Hayden.
Te recomendamos en English
- EURO 2020 Why is Sergio Ramos not in Spain squad?
- EURO 2020 Who plays today in European Championship? Monday 14 June: games, times, TV, schedule...
- EURO 2020 Denmark's Eriksen thanks life-savers and vows to understand what caused cardiac arrest
- Copa America Brazil's Tite hails Neymar but stops short of Ronaldo and Romario comparisons
- US NEWS Fourth stimulus check live updates: is it coming in June? Tax refund status, homeowner stimulus check, child tax payment...
- US NEWS G7 summit recap: what did Joe Biden say about meeting Queen Elizabeth?