Football Association to Embrace Artificial Grass Pitches

artificial football pitchThe FA has agreed to lift its 20 year artificial grass ban and will allow competitions to be played on non-grass surfaces from as early as next year.  It is thought the FA Cup rulebook will be changed officially later this month, permitting 3G pitches all the way up to the semi-finals.

Maidstone Football Club’s highly publicised fight to get their 3G pitch accepted into the Conference League is said to have contributed to the decision.  The club founded 3G4US, a group of organisations in support of synthetic pitches.  Recently they published a long list of all the New Year’s Day fixtures that had to be cancelled due to bad weather.  Reporting that clubs lost thousands of pounds on football’s most supported day of the year.

It is hoped that artificial pitches will help revive grass roots football in Britain.  The FA and the Government have pledged millions to fund the refurbishment and replacement of playing surfaces.  An all-weather pitch means more practice and more play for thousands of clubs that normally have to shut down when it’s too wet. 

The problem for non-league clubs is they’re wary of making changes in case it hinders progression because of stricter regulations in professional football.  Worthing FC for example are looking to go 3G but have expressed reluctance because of fears it could prevent their promotion to the Conference League.  At the moment, clubs with artificial pitches must gain written permission from the board.  No doubt organisers will welcome the FA’s decision.

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