AFCON

Mbombela pitch 'a disgrace'

2013-01-31 13:16
Mbombela pitch (Gallo Images)

Nelspruit - Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor has slammed the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) local organising committee for the state of the pitch at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit.

The Tottenham Hotspur player complained about the sandy and bumpy surface after Togo drew 1-1 against Tunisia on Wednesday to reach the playoffs of the continental competition for the first time. They face Burkina Faso in the quarterfinals on Sunday.

Zambia captain Chris Katongo had also spoken out earlier in the week about the uneven field which made it difficult for teams to play their normal passing games.

"Once again we are in Africa - AFCON is a big tournament for Africa - the whole world is watching this. You can't play on a pitch like this," Adebayor said.

"The stadium is one of the best I have played in, but to be honest with you, I'm very sorry, but it's a disgrace for our continent to be playing on this pitch when it's on the TV around the world.

"CAF have to sort things out, to solve the problem. At the end of the day we are all African and we have to be honest with ourselves - it's a beautiful stadium but the pitch is not happening.

"Those people that watch the game in Europe, they will be sending SMS's to me tonight asking me, 'are you playing in the bush or what?'. It's a disgrace to our continent, we can do better."

The issue with the playing surface arose after sand had been laid on the pitch to counter several days of heavy rain - a move which was apparently not sanctioned by the CAF.

"South Africans had the chance to organise the 2010 Soccer World Cup," Adebayor said.

"I think CAF should have come one month before to get the pitch in a better condition, but at the end of the day we are here and we have to find a way to play."

Read more on:    togo  |  afcon  |  emmanuel adebayor  |  soccer
NEXT ON SPORT24X

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
104 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

 

3 sports games you have to watch this weekend

Whether it’s date night or a braai with buddies, plan around these three exciting sporting games!

 
 

Men24.com

How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette
Pro-skater Tony Hawk rides a hoverboard!
10 ways to drive her wild!
Vote

Who do you think will be the next manager at Manchester United?

 
 
/Sport
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

Got something you'd like to get off your chest? Got a burning desire to air an opinion? If so, be sure to sign-up on Sport24's FORUM!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.