Blatter punts artificial turf

GLENEAGLES, Scotland - Artificial turf is the future of soccer, according to Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

GLENEAGLES, Scotland - Artificial turf is the future of soccer, according to Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

"This is not only a point to make headlines, it is the truth," Blatter said at the annual meeting of Fifa's International Football Association Board. "Football on artificial turf is the future."

Matches at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa could be played on synthetic pitches, said Blatter, who made a similar suggestion last month.

Blatter pointed to the poor quality of Ghana's grass pitches at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year.

"If the pitches in the African Cup of Nations ... would have been at the level of the quality of the game, then we would have had even better football - and it was already good football."

Blatter doesn't want Fifa's showpiece tournament to be hindered by substandard surfaces.

"When it is not summer time in South Africa, it will not affect the stadia in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Durban because they are at sea level," Blatter said.

"Perhaps up in the mountains, but really if there are any problems with the pitches then it is a possibility that the World Cup 2010 could be played on artificial turf."

Blatter appealed to doubters to test the field at Fifa headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. - Sapa-AP

X