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UEFA says it will improve Frankfurt field after turf cuts up in England-Denmark game at Euro 2024

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — After an England-Denmark game at the European Championship played on a field that cut up following days of rain, UEFA said Friday it was working on “specific issues” to improve the quality.

Frankfurt has had steady rainfall this week and the Waldstadion roof was closed for 24 hours before kickoff, and during the game Thursday, to protect the field that was used all season by host club Eintracht Frankfurt.

Chunks of turf were kicked up during England’s 1-1 draw with Denmark and several players slipped on the greasy grass in humid conditions on a 23-degree (73 F) day.

“A detailed maintenance plan is in place to address specific issues and further improve quality ahead of the upcoming fixtures at the venue,” UEFA said in a statement.

Germany plays Switzerland in the stadium Sunday in a 9 p.m. local (1900 GMT) kickoff. Frankfurt also hosts Slovakia-Romania on Wednesday and a round of 16 game on July 1 for the Group F winner, that could be Portugal.

UEFA has replacement fields ready to bring in when needed. The playing surface at Switzerland’s training stadium was relaid this week after a formal complaint.

England coach Gareth Southgate said he noticed the Frankfurt field break up when Belgium played there Monday and lost 1-0 to Slovakia.

“I’ve been a defender, when you play on a pitch like that it puts you on edge because you are not sure of your footing,” Southgate said after Thursday’s game.

UEFA said its expert field consultants “have seen the overall pitch rating improve consistently over the course of the previous season.”

Persistent rain in Germany during Euro 2024 has added to issues with fields that were relaid before the competition. In Hamburg, the Poland and Netherlands could not practice on the surface before the opening game at Volksparkstadion on Sunday.

Playing surfaces have been relaid during previous tournaments with turf brought from the Netherlands: During Euro 2016 at Lille, France, and Euro 2008 at Basel, Switzerland.


AP Euro 2024: https://ift.tt/YOlBI4j

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