July 19, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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Buckets full of grass blocks: What’s wrong with the European Championship stadiums?

Buckets full of grass blocks: What’s wrong with the European Championship stadiums?

The grass in Frankfurt looked like a battlefield after England and Denmark. After the final whistle, buckets can be filled with loose grass. UEFA now wants to avoid losing face with a contingency plan.

After just 8 minutes, Kyle Walker was already introduced to Frankfurt’s poor turf. The defender nearly sprained his ankle when the ground collapsed beneath him.

Walker changed his shoes quickly, and he won’t be the only one. Many of the team members slipped on the grass, and it was always raining clumps of earth.

The extent of the damage became clear after the final whistle. Groundskeepers can fill buckets with loose grass.

England coach Gareth Southgate had reason to complain. “I will not make any excuses for our performance,” he said.

He added, “But as a defender, you do not feel comfortable on a field like this. You do not feel confident and one mistake can destroy the team.”

With a new match taking place in Frankfurt on Sunday between Germany and Switzerland, the host country, a solution is urgently needed.

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The stadium also suffered significant damage during the Red Devils’ match in Frankfurt. However, the match was nothing like the Three Lions match. What happened?

According to Steve Haacke, professor at the Sports Technology Research Group in Sheffield, the closed roof played a role. “58,000 fans are enthusiastically exhaling thousands of pounds of fluid per hour,” he told the BBC.

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“They’re keeping the sun out, and that’s part of the problem. I think they got the timing wrong.”

UEFA has already prepared a contingency plan to get the stadium ready for play again by Sunday. “A detailed maintenance plan has been developed to address specific issues and continue to improve quality,” she added.

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More complaints

This is not the first complaints that UEFA has received regarding poor playing fields.

The Netherlands and Poland were unable to train in advance at the Volkspark Stadium in Hamburg. The new turf was ready only 10 days before the start of the European Championships and therefore needed a lot of time to take hold.

Austria was forced to change its training venue before the start of the European Championship, because bad weather made its stadium unplayable.

Switzerland also lodged a complaint because the Stuttgarter Kickers’ training ground left much to be desired. Twenty truckloads of grass were brought in to repave the field.

The Red Devils stadium is still in good condition.

Wim Flewitt, environmental ranger

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