Artificial turfs could become the norm

That is according to Rob de Heer, manager of Geenfields Global Natural Grass and Xtra Grass Division. “Artificial pitches are much more cost effective. Therefore it is natural that more and more nations and football clubs look at this alternative,” he said at a seminar conducted on artificial and natural football pitches at the KSHA Stadium here.

De Heer, member of the company that will be laying an artificial pitch here at the football stadium, feels that in a place like Bangalore it makes sense because of the amount of football being played here.

“Here in Bangalore and India, where you need to play more matches on a particular pitch, artificial ones are the way to go. A natural grass pitch gives you about 300 hours a year of playing time where as with an artificial one, it is possible to play upto 2000 hours a year.”

Asked if playing on artificial pitches is different from playing on a natural one, de Heer said: “Of course it is going to be different. A natural pitch gives you a different dimension as it is more familiar to the majority of the footballers.

“But there is nothing wrong with artificial pitches either, it is all just about getting used to the playing conditions, just like in any other sport. Look at hockey for instance, it is all artificial now.

“You look at football academies now, most of the bigger clubs have artificial pitches, and because the younger generation grow up on these pitches, they adapt better to them. So if I had to make an educated guess, I’d say in about ten years, most of the football pitches will be artificial.”

Meanwhile, KSFA President AR Khaleel, said that they planned to stage Hindustan Aeronautics Sports Club’s I-League matches at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium till work on the football stadium turf is completed.  “The first match of HAL is on November 20, therefore since it is not possible to play at the football stadium, we are planning to write to the Sports Authority of Karnataka requesting them to provide us the Sree Kanteerava Stadium.”

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