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FIFA inspects new artificial turf at Peru’s El Nacional stadium

Good news for Jose Diaz. The artificial turf at Lima’s ‘El Nacional’ Stadium, a.k.a. ‘Estadio Coloso de José Díaz’, has been given two stars from a FIFA inspector and is ready to go for the upcoming 2010 World Cup qualification matches.FIFA delegate Eric Harrison (England) said after his meticulous inspection that the two stars means “first quality and is the highest certification granted to artificial pitches in the world”.

This “FIFA recommended 2-Star certification” (comprising individual tests after installation) is the prerequisite for the official approval of artificial turf playing surfaces for national and international competitions.

The only complaint Harrison had was the level of silicone grains spread out over the field that come to the surface on various spots. “The artificial grass fibers have the correct length and once the silicone situation is corrected and the grains are removed, players, coaches and FIFA will be very happy and satisfied”, Harrison remarked.

However, Peru’s football federation has already announced it may select Cusco as the primary venue for its home games because of its high altitude to which visiting teams would have to adapt. It remains to be seen how many games will actually be played in Peru’s national stadium.

The 2010 Football World Cup is scheduled to take place between 11 June and 11 July 2010 in South Africa. It will be the first time that the tournament has been held on the African continent, leaving Oceania as the only populated continent never to have hosted the event.

All football confederations have yet to start the qualification process for this World Cup. The South American CONMEBOL qualification process will again feature a league system (home and away matches) for a single group of 10 associations. The provisional start date is September or October 2007.

By disposition of the world’s main football entity, this Preliminary Round will only be played in stadiums where all spectators are seated.

Wolfy Becker

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