Home/Soccer

via Reuters

via Reuters

0
  Debate

Debate

Messi deserves better! Shouldn't the pitch conditions be top-notch for a Copa America semi-final?

Argentina found their way through the finals with a 2-0 win over Canada in the Copa America 2024 semifinals. Lionel Messi and Co. made no mistake this time and cruised past the underdogs of the tournament with ease. But the biggest talking point of the match remained the playing conditions at the MetLife Stadium of East Rutherford, New Jersey. The pitch was very disorderly and didn’t settle well in the eyes of many fans, who are urging for it to be changed.

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of playing soccer in America is playing on artificial turf. Yet, tonight’s first top-four clash was quite different, as CONMEBOL had installed the grass over artificial turf. This was done on June 20 for the matches on June 25, June 27 & July 9. However, ever since it was laid during the tournament’s group stage, the grass has not been replaced. The problem with this is that, when looked closely, there are many visible creases on the pitch.

USA Today via Reuters

In fact, throughout the match, it looked as if both sides were playing on a green carpet. Of course, this makes it difficult for anyone to play on such a surface. Yet, the whole game was concluded on such pitch conditions. Notably, discontent was visible on the faces of Argentinian and Canadian players, especially those who have the habit of playing on the regular soccer pitch surfaces that almost every European stadium has. Either way, this, unfortunately, has left the soccer fraternity in disbelief as they slam authorities to change the pitch.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Poll of the day

Do you think the pitch conditions will affect Lionel Messi's performance in the semi-final?

Yes, definitely

No, he's too skilled

Maybe, but not significantly

Not sure

Copa America stakeholders face the wrath of fans over poor pitch conditions for Lionel Messi and Argentina vs Canada

X, formerly Twitter, doesn’t seem to be happy with the pitch conditions of the MetLife Stadium for tonight’s semifinal clash. Fingers are being raised over the tournament organizers for even letting players play crucial matches on such surfaces.

The situation is so bad that this fan literally witnessed sand flying in the air with even a slightest of a kick or pass on the ground. Even though the organizers decided to stick to this surface, they should have at least made sure of any potential flaws.

The majority of the Copa America matches have been held in American football stadiums. The pitch for this sport is, of course, different from the regular soccer ground. Hence, ‘awful‘ is the only word that comes into the minds of ardent fans.

This netizen claims to have now spotted water logging near the sidelines. Certainly, it is bad news for CONMEBOL who might be questioned for lack of management. It also explains why they used sand in the first place.

The concern for the US extends beyond Copa America as they are also going to host the 2026 World Cup. Conducting a prestigious tournament in such pitch conditions certainly isn’t going to see them garner praise from the rest of the soccer world. It is advised to the concerned authorities that they shall quickly do something about these artificial turfs, otherwise, it may backfire on them.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Forget the pitch; imagine paying for a seat and then watching the whole match without even sitting as there is a big pole in front of you. We can feel the pain of this fan and certainly, such things can’t be afforded in the 2026 World Cup. The US should do something about this.

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Be that as it may, the responses are enough to suggest that there was a lot of work that had to be done to host the Copa America. Perhaps it’s a specific issue in the MetLife Stadium. But if they wish to host the World Cup without facing any criticism, then they shall start the work from today itself.