Artificial grass has yet to be widely used in sport; at this point in time it has been more used for households to allow them a green lawn all year round. That being said, developments in the way that artificial grass is being produced means that it is becoming a serious competitor for playing a part in many sports as the surface. This means that we could begin to see artificial grass a lot more in Football in the near future, it would begin to eradicate simple problems that a lot of players and fans alike have become accustomed too but often grow frustrated with – one of these being bumpy pitches, meaning the quality of football can often be squandered due to the poor quality of the pitch. This would no longer be a problem if artificial grass was introduced; it would give all pitches even quality and make the quality of pitches throughout world football far more consistent.
Artificial grass is a type of surface that is made up of synthetic fibres that are designed to look and feel like real grass; this gives the apparel needed for most household gardens but is it enough for world football? Recently there have been developments, in the form of the Woman’s FIFA World Cup. It is planned to be held in Canada, with a majority of the games being played on the artificial surface. This is a huge step forward in world football, and of course change always invites controversy – there were debates on whether or not it was fair woman had to play on artificial grass however men didn’t, FIFA welcomed this by suggesting they expect artificial grass in the Men’s FIFA world cup soon as well.
Currently, artificial grass isn’t used much on the world stage in Football. By that, we mean that it hasn’t been used in any major competitions and little coverage has been had on the matter. That being said, it is used more widely in schools and academies to provide good quality sports surfacing, no matter what seasonal changes there are it is a surface that holds its quality and can be used year round. To find out more about artificial grass visit sites such as Forever Green Lawns etc. At the moment it is unknown as to how it would really feel for professionals, at the top end of any sport or profession you notice small changes a huge amount, this means that the smallest adjustments to surface could throw players performances out of form. This was seen with the Adidas Jabulani ball in the 2010 men’s FIFA world cup, where the ball received widespread criticism due to its lightweight model and unpredictability in the air, these small adjustments were often used for reasons to some player’s poor performances etcetera.
The pro’s to using artificial grass, such as the low maintenance costs that come with the new surface, it stays green year round, doesn’t end up with muddy patches, or holes in the pitch – this means no twisted ankles and a lot more quality of the surface over the whole pitch. For smaller clubs, it will allow their players to train and play on the same quality surfaces that larger and more affluent clubs train on, without spending the same amount of money. This could be very beneficial for many players in lower leagues development and improvement, allowing them the best training facilities. The same thing can be seen in countries where grass doesn’t grow very well, artificial grass allows people in places like this a better way to play football.
On the other hand, us as football fans have become accustomed to the little imperfections that the ‘beautiful game’ has, the bumpy pitches that you watch your team play on that look fit for Sunday league are a great example – though it can be frustrating, it makes games closer and makes them totally unpredictable. Some fans may say the sport should move past these inconveniences if it can, however it is likely that many fans will share the same love/hate relationship with these types of circumstances and will strongly oppose the artificial grass movement. It also has a substantial installation cost, which means if you wish to get hold of this type of surface you should be prepared for an outlay of money initially before it becomes worthwhile.
Finally though, it all comes down to the fans. Without fans there would be no sport, because it would have no support and no money to fund the big moments that we all love. So the most important factor to artificial grass’ future use is how the fans respond to the revolution, they may not play on it and they may not directly fund it – but if it is an issue with the fans you can bet it will become a bigger issue and a bigger controversy. Perhaps the only way to tell which surface that football will be played on is to wait and see.