Synthetic Turf for World Cup: Yes or No?

25th April 2014

Synthetic turf is becoming more and more prevalent in sport. It’s replacing natural pitches and grounds all over the world, and technology advancements mean that it is, in many ways, a better alternative to real grass. As it lies just around the corner, one question remains: will synthetic turf ever be used in the World Cup?

Artificial turf football pitch by synthetic turf management

Artificial grass pitches were banned by the Football Association in 1988, and the last remaining synthetic surface was pulled up back in 1994.

However, after the UK experienced one of the wettest winters in history, sports groundsmen across the country have been left dismayed by unusable, untreatable pitches. Synthetic turf for football has become an increasingly popular option, with old turf technologies being replaced with new ones that allow for painless slide tackling due to extra soft, non-abrasive fibres. Tackles and hard falls, too, have become less likely to cause injury, with shock absorbency technology in inherent in the latest products.

Of course, it’s not just increased performance and safety that makes synthetic turf such a good solution to real grass problems. Clubs that take it on as an alternative to natural grounds see it as an investment, one that benefits them financially for over ten years.

Back in 2012, support was found to be strongest in League One and League Two, where clubs were attracted by the potential financial benefits to be gained from the installation of an artificial surface.

So, would synthetic turf be a viable and exciting next step for the World Cup, or would it be an insult to tradition? There have been surveys in the past for fans to participate in, which have revealed mixed views. What do you think?

Tweet us your thoughts @SyntheticTurfM - let’s get a discussion going!