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‘Artificial grass is the sheerest competitievervalsing’

The kunstgrasdiscussie in the Netherlands is high again flared up. Ajaxspits Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is already a staunch opponent.

The artificial grass on Stayen © Belga Image

‘On all surfaces, feel the nice weather in the Netherlands as a footballer to be back, but I must say: almost all of the faces’, says Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, the attacker that last summer after seven years Schalke 04 returned to the Netherlands, Voetbal International. “That turf is terrible, worthless, and utter competitievervalsing. The ball bounces differently, get a different effect with it, it’s just a different kind of football. Years ago, the thought of certain people and clubs that the future would have, but we can all conclude that this is nonsense.’

Previously had a number of heavyweights of English football in the Algemeen Dagblad, a manifesto signed against the use of artificial grass. Among others, Mark van Bommel, Ruud Gullit, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben argued forcefully for a ban on artificial turf in the premier league. Core of the criticism: technically it is football on artificial turf is a different game, and no other voetballand plays in a similar extent on a plastic surface. In the eredivisie play to seven clubs – Sparta, VVV, ADO Den Haag, Heracles, PEC Zwolle, Roda JC and Excelsior on artificial turf.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar does not understand that the KNVB, the Dutch football association, does not occur. “If there is no simple rule for surface exists, we can just as well on gravel or sand play. In Germany something like that is unthinkable, there determines the bond to the rules and everyone must follow them. Here nothing happens.’

There now seems to be still movement in the case, because the ECV, the umbrella organisation of the Eredivisieclubs, a working group was established to put a ban on artificial grass to study. On 12 december, they want a proposal. It will be there especially to arrive to a to create support for a compensation scheme for the seven kunstgrasclubs in the Premier league. Will be undoubtedly continued.

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