Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Afcon

Pitch issue not a distraction - Appiah



Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah said the controversial Mbombela Stadium pitch in Nelspruit will not be a distraction for his players in Wednesday's African Nations Cup semifinal against Burkina Faso.

Much of the grass had been killed by a fungus in the build-up to the tournament after recent heavy rains and had to have a coating of sand, leaving it hard and patchy in a major embarrassment to organisers.

Appiah sought on Tuesday to deflect attention from the issue.

"We need to compete whether the pitch is good or bad," he told reporters.

"My players are all professionals and used to different conditions. Back home in Ghana we play regularly on far worse pitches. We need to take our mind off the pitch issue."

The local organising committee have not allowed any teams to train on the field. Usually each country is allowed one training run on the match pitch on the eve of their first appearance at a venue but that has been denied those teams who have played at the Mbombela Stadium.

Burkina Faso have played all five of their matches in the lead up to the surprise semifinal appearance at the venue, which sit on the outskirts of Nelspruit amid rolling hills.

Burkina Faso coach Paul Put, perhaps in a bid to score psychological point, has made much of his side's familiarity with the conditions.



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
The Chile lesson
Who would have known early on Saturday morning that it would be Chile and not Argentina holding...

Segun Odegbami
Vincent Enyeama versus the NFF
Who could have imagined that a small innocent comment by the captain of the Nigerian national team...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Are women refs better than men?
This coming weekend (4th and 5th July 2015) will see the final of two major soccer competitions in...

Sunday Oliseh
Cech just what the Dr ordered
Arsenal have been a bit lightweight in the goalkeeping department since the departure of Jens...

Neil Tovey
Why I answered Safa’s call
I am pleased to have agreed to a deal in principle to serve as Safa’s technical director for the...

Clyde Tlou
Time for SA legends to step forward
A lack of ambition is hampering the South African 1996 Africa Cup of Nations legends.