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The Turf at the Euros is a Disaster: Players Complain About the Quality of the Pitch at Several Stadiums

The biggest problems are in Frankfurt.

Expectations for the organization of the EURO in Germany were high — Germans are known for their meticulousness, punctuality, and reliability. However, in reality, trains are delayed (the English had to wait 170 minutes) or canceled, and the metro can stop. Teams also have issues with the organization — fields at both stadiums and bases are frankly poor.

Switzerland Had to Change Base – The Turf Was "Dead" in Some Places

Even before EURO 2024 started, the Swiss Football Association sent an official complaint to UEFA stating that the field surface at the "Stuttgarter Kickers" complex did not meet standards. The team was offered to train at Stuttgart's base, but the coaching staff decided to stay to avoid long travel times.

However, before the match against Scotland, the Swiss still moved: training at the first location became impossible. "The grassroots in several places were dead," explained the federation. "So, for two days, we will be training on the Stuttgart training field at the Robert-Schlienz Stadium, which is in good condition. The field at our base will be replaced by UEFA, and we plan to return there afterward."
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The turf, which turned out to be unsuitable, was laid just a month before the Swiss team's arrival — it was renewed to make the players feel comfortable. But the opposite happened, and the field had to be relaid. Twenty trucks brought new turf to the Swiss base, which was laid in two days. After this, the team returned and continued their training there.

In Frankfurt, the Turf Flew Off in Chunks During the Denmark-England Match

At the start of the match, Kyle Walker slipped and fell, leaving a hole in the turf. The defender twisted his ankle but fortunately avoided injury and continued the game after changing his boots. He wasn't the only one with problems: players were slipping, and the goal area looked dirty. By the second half, the entire field was riddled with patches, and the stadium staff had to collect chunks of grass with soil and "assemble" the field like a mosaic.
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After the match, Harry Kane said that the pitch was "hard" and "difficult to play on." Danish midfielder Joakim Maehle noted, "Even if you played with iron studs, the turf was very slippery. It's definitely not the best field."

England's head coach Gareth Southgate: "I was a defender. Playing on such a field gets on your nerves because you are not quite sure of your footing. One moment, one mistake can affect the outcome of the match."

UEFA acknowledged after the match that the pitch was problematic despite close cooperation with the stadium team to monitor the turf quality. "A detailed maintenance plan has been developed to address specific issues and further improve the quality ahead of upcoming events at the venue," UEFA officially stated. Stadium staff planned to fill the holes with sand and thoroughly dry the turf using unique lamps.

After the Switzerland-Germany Match, Which Also Took Place in Frankfurt, Players Again Commented on the Pitch, but This Time It Was Too Dry.

"It was a bit difficult," said German midfielder Joshua Kimmich after the game. "This should not be an excuse, but the grass was parched this time."

After the March match between Germany and the Netherlands at the same stadium, Julian Nagelsmann spoke about the turf issues. "Unfortunately, the pitch here is a real disaster," he said at a press conference after the match. "In the last third of the field, we slipped in many situations." Jamal Musiala also said he was constantly slipping on the field.

Problems with the pitch in Frankfurt resulted from the NFL games held there last November. After two games, the hybrid turf was so exhausted that it had to be replaced. However, for economic reasons, agronomists laid natural turf. Then winter came, and the field was under water for several weeks due to heavy rains and cold.
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The Frankfurt stadium is not the only one with turf issues. In Düsseldorf, the field was changed three times after the season ended because UEFA inspections deemed it substandard. The last time, the turf was relaid a week before the first EURO match.

The pitch in Hamburg also raised concerns before the tournament started: the Dutch team trained there and was dissatisfied. Ronald Koeman said the team would conduct their final training session in Wolfsburg: "We shouldn't have trained here because of the turf."

Virgil van Dijk also noted the quality of the turf, comparing it to what was in Frankfurt during a friendly match in March: "The top layer will likely deteriorate quickly. Unfortunately, both teams will have to deal with it somehow."

UEFA and stadium staff are doing everything possible to ensure the pitches at these stadiums can withstand the playoff matches. However, we will likely hear more about issues related to the turf.

Published by Patrick Jane