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Deschamps, Petkovic hugely concerned by Euro 2016 pitches

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 20 Jun 2016

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France head coach Didier Deschamps was left searching for an explanation at the state of pitches at Euro 2016 following his side’s final Group A game in Lille.

Both France and Switzerland had been forced to train away from Stade Pierre-Mauroy in the build-up to Sunday’s game due to the wear and tear of the turf, brought on by torrential rain both before and during the competition.

The pitch was threadbare and cut up easily during the 0-0 draw between France and Switzerland, with ground staff out in full force during half-time to attempt to replace divots and ease some of the damage.

Tournament director Martin Kallen admitted last week that organisers “aren’t happy” with the problems affecting the playing surface, particularly in Lille, Marseille and Paris’s Saint-Denis stadium.

And Deschamps conceded after the match that the state of the turf is becoming a concern, given the number of matches still to be played.

“The players deserve credit, it was better than Marseille but it’s annoying,” he said. “I don’t know who is responsible but we’re only in the group stage. It’s not a good thing.”

Switzerland boss Vladimir Petkovic felt the quality of the match was affected and urged measures to be taken to correct the problem, with Italy facing Republic of Ireland in just two days’ time on the same surface.

“It’s a shame, it definitely hampered the quality of the game,” he said. “I really hope they resolve this because it doesn’t hold up well.”

“The pitch wasn’t great but it was the same for both sides, you can’t change that,” man-of-the-match Yann Sommer added.

Following the Group E game between Italy and Republic of Ireland, Stade Pierre-Mauroy will host two further matches – a last-16 clash next Sunday, and a quarter-final on July 1.

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