Keshi Blasts Nigerian Synthetic Pitches Again

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Stephen Keshi

Stephen Keshi

For the umpteenth time, Super Eagles chief coach, Stephen Keshi has condemned in very strong words the recent development where most football playing turfs in the country have been converted from natural grass to artificial.Keshi had lamented that due to the country’s poor maintenance culture, the playing turfs of all the nation’s stadiums have been converted into synthetic except the Abuja National Stadium.

At the moment, there are plans by the National Sports Commission, NSC to convert the natural turf inside the main bowl of the Abuja National Stadium to artificial.

Speaking to the press yesterday in Abuja, coach Keshi again lamented the development as he expressed shock over what to him is not only crazy but harmful to the players.

He said to make matters worse, unlike what is obtained in Europe; the quality of the synthetic turf laid in all the stadia is of the lowest grade.

The coach explained that while in a country like Russia, the artificial pitches are grade one, in Nigeria the artificial pitches are grade four which he said is the least in quality.

Keshi further said while the home based players who are used to playing on the artificial pitches may not have any serious problems; it gives so much problems to the foreign based players who are more exposed to natural playing turfs.

The coach said he is truly shocked by the development because he once played on natural grass inside what is now Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium Enugu but now everything is artificial pitch.

“I don’t like it but nobody is doing anything and that’s why some of the foreign based players find it difficult to play optimally. Some of the home based players can push themselves because some of them play on artificial turf in Nigeria but the professionals usually have hard times.

“If it is grade one, organic one they have in Russia, okay, we might say okay but what we have here is grade four and honestly it is not good for the player. They are bad for the knee, ankle, groin side and the lower back. It is not the best.

“I don’t know whoever told them to change to artificial turfs. It is only in Nigeria that I have seen all the stadia with artificial turfs. It is unbelievable. I went to Kogi State, beautiful stadium but what do they have there, artificial turf. Enugu where we used to play, we played there against Morocco during my time. Good pitch but now it is artificial turf. Lagos artificial turf, come on”, he lamented.

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