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The football pitch: A vital element of the game

Thursday, January 28, 2016 7:55:00 AM America/Los_Angeles

Participants at a special workshop in Moscow discussed pitch management for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.

What are the essential ingredients of a football game? The players, the goalposts, the ball and, of course, the pitch. And the better the quality, the better the match itself. A special workshop hosted by the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee (LOC) in Moscow on 26-27 January focused on preparations for pitches at the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ stadiums, as well as those at training sites and Team Base Camps (TBCs). More than 150 people took part in the event, including representatives of the LOC, FIFA, local authorities, pitch owners and managers, pitch technicians and contractors.

As for previous editions of the FIFA World Cup, pitch quality is one of the organisers’ utmost priorities. One of the main goals of the workshop was to explain the essence of these requirements, how to achieve them, and how complying with them will be monitored. As a new initiative to support the stadium and training sites authorities, FIFA has also handed a summary of the Pitch Management Handbook to all participants of the workshop.

The 114 pitches at the players' and referees' disposal for training sessions and matches of the FIFA Confederations Cup and FIFA World Cup are the 12 stadiums, 36 venue specific training sites, 64 team base camps and two referees training sites. In October 2015, specialists from the Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) – the LOC's consultants on pitch management who have also been involved in previous editions of the FIFA World Cup – visited all of these grounds, providing detailed reports on all pitches and expert commentary on how to improve them.

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