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Last Updated: Monday, 11 February 2008, 18:47 GMT
Artificial turf a 2010 Cup option
By Farayi Mungazi
BBC Sport, Accra

Sepp Blatter
Installing artificial pitches around Africa is one of Blatter's projects
Fifa president Sepp Blatter says the 2010 World Cup in South Africa could be played on artificial pitches.

"We have envisaged, though it's not yet a final decision, that the 2010 World Cup could be played on artificial turf," Blatter told BBC Sport.

And Blatter also suggested future Africa Cup of Nations tournaments should be played on artificial turf.

"I think it's now time in this region to think about artificial turf," said the head of football's governing body.

Artificial turf is a solution, you can use it more than just once a week

Sepp Blatter

Many players and coaches dislike artificial pitches arguing the surface is disadvantageous to teams that are not used to playing on them.

In October England struggled in a crucial Euro 2008 qualifier against Russia in Moscow, losing 2-1 on an aritificial pitch.

Under the "Win in Africa with Africa" project, Fifa is laying an artificial pitch in all 53 of its member countries on the continent, with the exception of South Africa.

Playing surfaces in many African countries can be badly affected during the rainy and dry seasons.

"An artificial pitch gives you the same conditions during the whole year," said Blatter, who expressed his concern over the quality of the 2008 Nations Cup pitches in Ghana.

"I've followed with a lot of interest most of the matches of this competition, and I have to say that African football is at a very high level," he said.

606: DEBATE

"What I've not not liked so much is the turf, especially in Accra - the grass is too high.

"Artificial turf is a solution to the owners of stadiums - you can use it more than just once a week, you can use it for other sports.

"I think it's better than uneven ground, where control of the ball not easy."

Pitches aside, Blatter was satisfied by Ghana's hosting of the Nations Cup, despite problems with ticketing, transport and hotels.

"I think the organisation was not so bad - we should not be so critical," he said.



SEE ALSO
Egypt 1-0 Cameroon
10 Feb 08 |  African
England's pitch battle
15 Oct 07 |  Internationals
Russia 2-1 England
17 Oct 07 |  Internationals


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