Copa America Turf Issues Impact on FIFA World Cup 2026?

Author : FIFA World Cup Tickets | Published On : 10 Jul 2024

FIFA World Cup 2026 is set to be played in many of the same places across the United States, each new disagreement over pitch situations at Copa America emphasizes the ongoing concerns about the quality of the sites and the difficulty of using NFL grounds for soccer. At Copa America, some grounds are natural grass.

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The Copa America 2024 is ongoing on June 20 with what should've been only a festive occasion. In front of 70,524 supporters at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium, presiding FIFA World Cup 2026 champs Argentina succeeded 2-0 over Canada in a perhaps amazingly inexpensive game. But talk of the result faded into the background after the players pronounced prevention and irritation over the situations of the turf as long as by CONMEBOL.

But several have synthetic turf, in which layers of provisional grass have been laid over the field. So why did CONMEBOL opt for these field conditions, and will situations improve when the U.S. co-hosts the world's biggest generous event with Canada and Mexico in two years? Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni led the responsibility after the final whistle last month.

Interrogative why the South American Football Association waited until 48 hours before the match to prepare the field. He said angrily at the postmatch news conference they had been acquainted with seven months ago that we'd play here and they altered the field two days ago. It's not a reason, but this isn't a good field. Sincerely, the field is not appropriate for these kinds of players.

Players Criticize Copa America Turf Conditions at FIFA World Cup 2026

We gave not essentially a good game, but a game according to the ground and what the opponent planned. We couldn't do much more with the situation of the pitch. Look at the swiftness of the permits that we did. Goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez added to the prevention very uncomfortable. We coped with a strong Canadian side on a pitch that was a tragedy.

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It hopped on you as you ran. We must recover in this aspect otherwise; Copa America will always seem at a lower level than the European Championship. It remains just Argentina players who have occupied issues with the grounds during Copa America. US midfielder Weston McKennie said after occupying yourself at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

FIFA World Cup 2026: I consider what Martínez was saying was true. You're playing on a football ground, with laid grass that's all occasional and it breaks up every step you take. It's frustrating. Peru manager Jorge Fossati cited AT&T Stadium's unacceptable field as a potential reason for the Achilles injury of Luis Advíncula, it came from out of nowhere.

I appreciate that this is a grass field today but it's not usual grass. It's not grass that's born and cultivates naturally. It's a grass they bring in from elsewhere. That can be a bit of a firmer surface and it can have an emotional impact on you in that exact place. I'm not a medic but I've been from one place to another football for a few years.

Field Concerns and Venue Choices for the FIFA World Cup

Colombia's James Rodríguez, Brazil superstar Vinícius Júnior, Canada's Kamal Miller, and Chile manager Ricardo Gareca stand among the many noticeable figures who have all also voiced their anxieties over the field conditions. CONMEBOL proclaimed the 14 stadiums selected to serve as places of Copa America matches back in December.

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A combination of MLS, NFL, and multi-purpose stadiums was selected, with six venues making use of artificial grass and eight stadiums with a field of grass. Three Major League Soccer sites were cut. Austin FC's Q2 stadium, Orlando City's Inter&Co stadium, and Sporting Kansas City's Children's Mercy Park.

Frederico Nantes, CONMEBOL's director of cooperation, said the size and maximum dimensions of soccer-specific MLS venues played a role in the choice to boundary their use throughout the tournament. Matters of size, travel space between cities, and substructure were taken into thought before CONMEBOL.

Understood that artificial grass could not be avoided despite the hue and cry from players regarding that playing surface. To achieve consistency and fairness, CONMEBOL opted to regulate field conditions by ruling each stadium required changes to be made to act with the need for a 100m x 64m pitch an old-style field measuring 105m x 68m, and a grass field with 25mm density.

Copa America participants were knowledgeable of the dimension change eight months before the competition, once again raising concerns. Though most places were confirmed in December, planning at each stadium began seven months before the statement to accommodate the newly applied rules. Which Euro 2024 Legends Will Shine at the FIFA World Cup 2026?

CONMEBOL's Turf Preparation for Copa America 2024

CONMEBOL held chats regarding pitch looking after, logistics, stadium management, and coordination in June 2023 to get ready for the competition. Maristela Kuhn, CONMEBOL's agricultural engineer, said that we progressed the project in June when traveling to examine fields and watch games here, and in November, we began journals in all stadiums and all training centers.

FIFA World Cup 2026: Reports were produced with recommendations for everything that had to be done. We had conferences with the agronomists and programming. With superior technology, we had all the grass agricultural estate defined. The grass formed across the United States for the tournament makes use of a special technology, whereby the company seeds any physical on top of a bed of malleable to make sure all grass grows to a dogged height and density.

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CONMEBOL branded the system ready to play, due to the creation's ability to be transported, installed, and obtainable for immediate use. Kuhn established the technology was the same used on pitches in Europe, indirectly replying to those comments associating the Copa America and European Championship conditions.

Despite the promise of steadiness in standards of capacities and quality across fields, each stadium received different deals once the rivalry began due to weather and construction conditions. For the initial match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, pitch connection started three days before the game on June 17 when a store at a low-temperature truck transported the trolls of grass to the stadium for stadium staff to complete the 48-hour transformation.

Grass Installation Challenges at Copa America 2024

The panels of grass were placed on top of the artificial grass separately to create the necessary cross-sections before the CONMEBOL crew began the aesthetic work of exacting the pitch. The federation completed numerous tests before the game, including confrontation and performance trials, to make sure the grass met the organization's values of quality, density, and force.

However, the measures failed to persuade participants, insisting the panels of grass desperate for a drink together affected the speed of play and the way the ball rolled. They sewed boards of grass together. It's painted to give the impression nicer than it is, Scaloni observed. Two weeks after the initial match, CONMEBOL reassured the media that the pitch was worthy enough to host world-class players for the competition.

FIFA World Cup 2026: The alliance ran a second round of tests on the ground before the United States men's national team's match in contrast to Panama and found no reason to exchange the grass or re-install boards. Nantes said that the grass in Atlanta posed unconditionally no threat. All the tests came out enough. I think the visual of the field was what positioned you as a problem for the players, they care a lot about aesthetics.

Kuhn added that in Atlanta, we had the choice of doing a second conversion, it is a closed stadium, ready for conversion and we decided not to change because the grass was very good, and based on technical evaluations we decided that it would not be necessary to change and we kept the first grass until the second game.

Challenges in Grass Installation for Football World Cup Venues

FIFA World Cup 2026: Places with year-round grass, like Hard Rock Stadium, Levi's Stadium, and GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, experienced a much less rigorous process. The fields were still substituted with new, CONMEBOL-approved grass but located two weeks ahead of the first match. Hard Rock Stadium, however, will see a second turf change four days in advance of the final on July 14.

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Despite the timeframe of putting in and previously laid surface, CONMEBOL long-established height, density, and temperature checks, and confrontation testing were done before and after completion in every stadium to make compulsory uniformity. Though the grass was grown to fit sure measures and standards, the alteration in the installation process and surface base as long as teams with a different playing experience.

The density, height, and force of the grass didn't strike a severe difference, but the base superficial on which it was laid on top of did. The difference in surface areas from venues with artificial grass like that of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, AT&T Stadium, and MetLife Stadium provide changing conditions from those that boast year-round grass-like fields in Miami and Kansas City.

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