The state of Singapore's sandy pitch is in the spotlight ahead of the eagerly anticipated football match between Brazil and Japan on Oct. 14, 2014.
Just check out the frontpage headlines of two newspapers:
"Pitch imperfect" - The New Paper
"A rare treat, pity about the patchy pitch" - The Straits Times
Let's hear the 8 different ways the football experts have described our Singapore football pitch.
1. Highlight the amount of sand in a grass pitch.
Brazilian football star Neymar playing "beach football". For more behind-the-scenes photos of the Brazilian players training at the National stadium, check out the FourFourTwo photo gallery.
“Most of it is sand, not grass ... It’s going to be hard to pass the ball. There is more chance of getting injured in this field" - Brazilian football coach Dunga
2. More sand
"While playable, the Desso pitch is hardly ideal with its sandy areas still conspicuous." - Leonard Thomas, Associate sports editor, The New Paper.
3. Hint how football players' performances will be affected
Honestly saying, it will take some more time to have a perfect condition. It’s sandy, a little bit, and it may be difficult [for us] to show the best performance." - Japan coach Javier Aguirre
4. Be artistic about it.
[T]he glamour clash, the biggest staged at the new arena, is short of one ingredient for it to be a masterpiece, with its pitch resembling a tattered canvas" - Wang Meng Meng, journalist, The Straits Times, Oct 14, 2014
5. Compare this to overseas examples.
The condition of the field is "far short of expected international playing standards, which could affect the standard of play". - Football Association of Singapore (FAS), Channel NewsAsia, Oct 9, 2014
6. Bye bye AFF Suzuki Cup
“If we find the pitch at National Stadium unsatisfactory, then Singapore will need an alternative venue,” said Asean Football Federation (AFF) secretary Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad in New Straits Times, Oct 14.
7. Just say you will try your best no matter what.
Photo by Lim Wei Xiang for FourFourTwo Singapore
"I cannot say that this is a very good pitch. The situation will be the same for both teams and we may not be able to play beautiful football, but the team will try our best." - Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima
8. Spin it.
"I personally hold the opinion that (the pitch) does not look up to international standards... (but) when we assess a pitch we look at things like ball bounce and roll, hardness and traction; all these fall within the right limits.
From a playability point of view, (the criticism) is a little bit unfair". - Sports Hub senior director Greg Gillin, who formerly worked for London's Wembley Stadium.
Yes, we can also play football on a street soccer court, from a playability point of view.
Top photo by Lim Wei Xiang for FourFourTwo Singapore