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Veritas Stadion in Turku is the big winner of the pitch-rating competition organised by the Finnish Professional Footballers Association JPY. It was the first time that the Finnish union had asked the players to rate the pitches in Finland.

Before kick-off of each match, all pitches were rated by a committee consisting of a FA delegate, the referee and the captain of the visiting team. The evaluation was based on general appearance, field's greenery, grass height, moisture, pitch lines and quality of the field's equipment. The committee was allowed to use grades on a scale of 1 to 5.

Veritas Stadion convincingly beat its rivals. It nearly achieved a perfect score, averaging an impressive 4.97.

Veritas Stadion is the home of two Finnish premier league clubs: FC Inter Turku and TPS Turku, 9th and 12th respectively in the 12-team Veikkausliiga. It is the only stadium used by two teams. The result of Veritas Stadion is the average of all matches by both teams.

"This award is a professional accolade for the groundsmen in all stadiums", explains Markus Juhola, Executive Manager of the Finnish players union. "We also hope to improve the overall quality of the pitches, as a good football field is a requirement for the footballers to perform at their utmost, while the football fans deserve that all conditions are fulfilled for an entertaining match".

Juhola and union President Hannu Tihinen presented the trophy to Jukka Virtanen, Marko Mastomäki and Joni Österlund Jukka from Turku's Sports Services Centre, which is responsible for Veritas Stadion.

Finland is the eighth country in which the national players' association has established a pitch-rating system. The seven other countries are: Australia (PFA Australia), Austria (VdF), Bulgaria (ABF), Denmark (Spillerforeningen), France (UNFP), Ireland (PFAI), The Netherlands (VVCS), Norway (NISO), Russia (PSFT), Slovenia (SPINS) and Sweden (SFS).

Table

1. Veritas Stadion - Turku FC Inter Turku and TPS Turku 4.97  
2. Tapiolan Urheilupuisto – Espoo FC Honka 4.65  
3. Hietalahden jalkapallostadion - Vaasa VPS Vaasa 4.64  
4. Wiklöf Holding Arena – Mariehamn IFK Mariehamn 4.44  
5. Kymenlaakson Sähkö Stadion – Kouvola MyPa 47 4.33 Artificial turf
6. Savon Sanomat Areena – Kuopio KuPS Kuopio 4.06 Artificial turf
7. Rovaniemen Keskuskenttä – Rovaniemi RoPS Rovaniemi 4.06 Artificial turf
8. Pietarsaaren Keskuskenttä - Pietarsaari FF Jaro 4.00  
9. Kisapuiston – Lahti FC Lahti* 3.78  
10. Sonera Stadium – Helsinki HJK Helsinki 3.60 Artificial turf
11. Seinäjoen Keskuskenttä - Seinäjoki SJK (Seinäjoen Jalkapallokerho) 3.50  
12. Lahden Stadion - Lahti FC Lahti* 2.56  

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