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Artificial pitches could return to English football

26 September 2014, 17:32

London - Artificial pitches could return to English soccer from next season after a majority of club chairman from the third and fourth tier leagues said they would be in favour of their reintroduction.

Representatives from League One and Two clubs met on Thursday and 29 out of 48 members voted for a proposed rule change that would mean FIFA 2-star-rated 3G (third generation) surfaces could host matches next year, the Football League confirmed.

Also read: UEFA opens financial probes against seven clubs

The change would encompass matches in both divisions and the League Cup and Johnstone's Paint Trophy competitions.

Artificial pitches were banned from the professional game in England 19 years ago due to issues over the bounce of the ball and injury fears but the Football Association ruled in March that they can be used in every round of the FA Cup during the current season.

Clubs from England's bottom two divisions are now expected to take a formal vote once the rule changes are drawn up in November to decide whether the surface will be reintroduced to other competitions next season.

Earlier this month, Wales won 2-1 on a 3G pitch in their Euro 2016 qualifying group match in Andorra but visiting manager Chris Coleman and Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale were critical of the surface, with Bale describing it as "the worst I have ever played on."

- Reuters


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