Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)
days
:
hours
:
minutes
:
seconds

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



Dr Errol Sweeney
Ref Moss was right to banish Jose
Referee Jon Moss recently banished Manchester United and former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho to the...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Wenger will take the point
The last time Arsenal were as poor as they were this weekend at Old Trafford was in Robin van...

Segun Odegbami
The next African Player of the Year!
The award ceremony for the 2016 Best African Player of the Year comes up in January in Nigeria, but...

Sunday Oliseh
Why no love for Leipzig?
With 12 German Bundesliga league games played, this team has now won nine matches, drawn three,...