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FIFA’s Synthetic Turf Technology in 2014 World Cup

By Denise Valenzuela

Posted in

The World Cup was one to remember last year.  The competition was fierce and the actions was dramatic.  As potentially the largest sporting event in the world the World Cup carries a lot of weight.  Each and every move that FIFA makes is analyzed, scrutinized and mulled over in great detail.  While last year saw a lot of negative press on FIFA we are proud to report a positive story that involved FIFA and last years World Cup.

Amid all the glamor and action it’s easy to miss out on a very important part of soccer – also known as “futbol”: the ground.  Futbol grounds have always been sacred for the players, the coaches, and the fans. In recent times, however, these grounds have been undergoing important changes. There has been constant technological innovation and development to make the grounds better for the players so that the game can be played without any disruptions and in the best possible manner.

One of the ways to achieve this has been the development of synthetic turf and hybrid fields.  In the last world cup in Brazil, the headquarters for the Brazilian national football Complex utilized a FIFA-certified synthetic football turf.

The field meets the most stringent requirements of elite futbol.  To become a FIFA-recommended two-star pitch, it had to undergo two phases of arduous laboratory and field testing.  Performance, quality, durability and safety of the artificial futbol turf are repeatedly checked by FIFA and the recommended marks are allotted only when FIFA is fully convinced of its quality.

Over time, FIFA has realized the significance of synthetic turf in the international football arena. This is due to the massive advantages that high quality synthetic turf offers.  We will open up a series of posts covering synthetic turf benefits for FIFA as well as other major sporting league applications.  Here are 2 of the primary benefits that FIFA recognized in the decision to use artificial turf.

Overcoming Climatic Barriers

Artificial turf makes playing futbol possible in all seasons. This is a big reason why it has received the nod from the authorities. Many regions of the world suffer from extreme climatic conditions, which make natural grass fields practically impossible. Natural grass fields suitable for playing football are rare, both in extremely hot and dry as well as very cold countries. Even if they do exist, they are vulnerable to climatic conditions, which make their upkeep and maintenance very expensive. Artificial turf is the answer to these woes.

Rainfall is another culprit responsible for the postponing and cancellation of matches. This results in reduced playtime. With artificial turf, the field is not affected by the rains and the game can continue. Rainfall also causes severe damage to grass fields. When a particular club trains and practices on synthetic turf, it does not have to face these climatic hazards and can practice and play better.

A Better Pace

Ruts, bumps, overgrown or uneven grass can break the pace of the game.  The pace of the game depends on the quality of the field. In a synthetic field such obstacles are missing and the grass is always well trimmed. As a result the ball moves better and faster and the pace of the game is not disturbed. This has been further enhanced by the fact that the latest generation of artificial grass mirrors the characteristics of the natural grass that players are used to.

Though the pace is set and the ball travels faster, the fields are designed in a way that the player-to-surface interaction feels the same as it would on natural grass fields. These characteristics make the latest generation of artificial grass perfect for futbol fields.

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