Football: FAS says National Stadium pitch "short of international standards" but playable

Sunlight peeking through the thin retractable dome of the new National Stadium. The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has given the National Stadium pitch the green light for next Tuesday's Japan-Brazil friendly although the turf is still
Sunlight peeking through the thin retractable dome of the new National Stadium. The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has given the National Stadium pitch the green light for next Tuesday's Japan-Brazil friendly although the turf is still not far from perfect. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has given the National Stadium pitch the green light for next Tuesday's Japan-Brazil friendly although the turf is still far from perfect.

After conducting an inspection yesterday afternoon, the FAS said: "We are of the view that the pitch is playable and the game can proceed if the match commissioner and teams agree.

"However, we are also of the opinion that the condition of the field is far short of expected international playing standards, which could affect the standard of play. We therefore share the Asean Football Federation's (AFF) concerns about the readiness of the venue for the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup."

The stadium's hybrid pitch made of natural grass weaved with synthetic fibres came under fire during August's friendly between the Singapore Selection and Juventus as large sandy patches caused abrasion injuries to the players.

To protect the surface, the FAS added that it will not schedule any home international friendlies at the 55,000 seater stadium and is prepared to forgo all of the Lions' training sessions scheduled there in the lead-up to the AFF Cup.