Do you prefer natural grass or artificial turf? It is a question often asked in the world of football. This week, the players’ associations in Denmark and The Netherlands presented their research on this subject. Conclusion: footballers prefer natural grass.
The results of a survey on artificial turf in Denmark make a clear statement – The Superliga players do not want to play matches on artificial turf as it changes the game fundamentally and adds imbalance to the tournament. In spite of this FC Nordsjælland will play their home matches on artificial grass starting from next season.
A survey carried out by Spillerforeningen, the Danish Football Players’ Association, among the players in the top league in Denmark shows a clear result. There is consensus that playing tournament matches on artificial turf is not the right way to go. No less than 96% of the players prefer their club to invest in natural grass pitches rather than artificial turf.
'The Superliga players speak jointly and with a clear voice. They do not want to play on artificial turf', says Director of the Danish PFA, Mads Øland. 'The clubs have to take note of this and listen to their players before considering playing tournament matches on artificial turf.'
Furthermore, 82% of the players do not think that artificial turf is necessary to carry through the tournament under the current match calendar. Nevertheless, FC Nordsjælland, which is currently in second place, has decided to switch to artificial grass from the 2012/2013 season.
The opposition to artificial turf must to be seen in the context that 83% of the Superliga players are of the opinion that the game changes fundamentally when played on artificial turf. 'The core of the game itself changes when it is played on artificial turf. The ball bounces differently and gains more speed and there are fewer duels and sliding tackles. It is basically a different game all together', Øland adds.
The Superliga players are also worried that the tournament in Denmark will become imbalanced. 71% of the players do not think it is fair that some clubs play on artificial turf and others on natural grass. Øland: 'No matter how you look at it, it makes the tournament unequal that FC Nordsjælland will play every second match on turf that is dramatically different than those of the other clubs.'
- 96% of the Superliga players believe that the quality of the Danish pitches should be improved by investing more money in natural turf rather than artificial turf
- 82% of the Superliga players believe that artificial turf is not necessary to be able to carry through the tournament under the current match calendar
- 71% of the Superliga players do not consider it to be fair that some clubs play their matches on artificial turf while others play on natural grass
- 83% of the Superliga players think that the game changes fundamentally when played on artificial turf
Approximately half of the players from the Danish Superliga, 129 in total, have answered the questionnaire anonymously.
- Published: 03 April 2012