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



Segun Odegbami
Three headaches for Juventus
An estimated 400 million audience around the world are glued to their television sets. I am sitting...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Ref assault should be condemned by all
The assault on a referee in Saudi Arabia recently should be condemned by all.

Neil Tovey
My Absa Prem team of the season
Games are won by scoring goals but defence wins titles. That rang true for Kaizer Chiefs.

Carol Radull
I'm not surprised Arsenal stumbled
Why am I not surprised that Arsenal has stumbled at the final hurdle, or close to the final hurdle?

Sunday Oliseh
Why Pep’s move could fire up the EPL
It’s the talk, speculation and rumour of the moment that, if true, could impact the English Premier...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
The best team always wins the league
One of the ironies of life is that the first time I heard the chant of “boring, boring”, it was...