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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 February, 2005, 11:49 GMT
Laursen pities the Pars players
Ulrik Laursen
Ulrik Laursen would prefer not to play on the pitch again
Celtic defender Ulrik Laursen has added to the plastic pitch row by saying he pities Dunfermline Athletic's players.

Pars chairman John Yorkston and Celtic manager Martin O'Neill were involved in a weekend war of words over the pitch.

Laursen said: "I actually spoke to the Dunfermline lads to tell them how much I felt sorry for them, having to train and play on that pitch every week.

"And I know that they probably hate it more than anyone. I don't see it benefiting them over a period of time."

O'Neill had decided against giving a debut to new signing Craig Bellamy in Sunday's Scottish Cup victory at East End Park, saying he was not prepared to risk him on the artificial surface.

Yorkston hit back by saying that Celtic defender Bobo Balde caused more injuries than his club's pitch.

Football on a pitch like that just isn't football
Ulrik Laursen
"As for whether it's safe or not, I refuse to believe that it hasn't been responsible for a lot of injuries and, in the longer term, I wouldn't be surprised if you see it causing bigger problems," said Laursen.

"It will make it more difficult for Dunfermline to attract players and the ones they do have will pick up more injuries than they would otherwise.

"Their chairman obviously says that it isn't dangerous and although, having played on it, I'm sure that's not the case, there's so much more wrong with it than that.

"For me, football on a pitch like that just isn't football, certainly not the kind that I'd pay to watch.

"You see yourself that the players are holding back from things that they would normally do, like slide tackles, which you would only go into on that surface if it was absolutely necessary.

"I'll be delighted if I never have to play on it again."






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