Cut-up pitch, ripped shirts, burst ball fail quality test – Metro US

Cut-up pitch, ripped shirts, burst ball fail quality test

By Philip Blenkinsop

LILLE, France (Reuters) – While France and Switzerland largely got what they wanted with a 0-0 draw at Euro 2016 on Sunday, it was a night of shame for ground staff and sports manufacturers.

Four Swiss players had to change ripped shirts, the Adidas match ball, sold outside for 140 euros ($158), burst and a cut-up pitch at the Stade Pierre Mauroy, that had to be patched up by groundsmen at halftime, sent players sliding.

The Lille pitch, beneath a retractable roof, still has to host an Italy v Ireland clash on Wednesday, a last-16 fixture and a quarter-final.

“It was better in Marseille but it was annoying. I don’t know who is responsible. We’re only in the group stage and having a pitch in that state already is not a good thing,” said France coach Didier Deschamps.

Switzerland counterpart Vladimir Petkovic said the pitch had definitely affected the quality of the game.

“I really hope they’re able to dry the pitch because it doesn’t hold up well, but it was the same for both sides so we can’t complain,” he said.

Petkovic was less critical of his side’s Puma-made shirts.

“If a shirt is pulled occasionally they can come apart at the seams. There were four and a maybe a fifth one at the end. If you pull shirts they do break,” he said.

Goalkeeper and man of the match Yann Sommer, whose shirt was not ripped, said the kit damage was more down to the nature of the match.

“It can happen. It means it was a fight on the pitch, with lots of duels. A jersey can fail. Of course today we had a lot. I can’t say we have to change because Puma is great,” he concluded.

($1 = 0.8834 euros)

(Editing by Clare Fallon)