Frankfurt Field to Be Improved by UEFA After Turf Problems at Euro 2024 Game

England-Denmark game at Euro 2024 (Frankfurt)

After a challenging European Championship match between England and Denmark on a rain-affected Frankfurt field, UEFA announced on Friday its plans to tackle “specific issues” to enhance field quality.

The Waldstadion, despite its closed roof protecting it from steady rains, saw serious turf damage during the game, leading to player slips in the humid 23-degree Celsius (73 F) conditions.

England-Denmark game (Frankfurt)

The Frankfurt stadium, home to Eintracht Frankfurt, has suffered from weather-related issues all week. Despite efforts to maintain the field, chunks of turf were displaced during the 1-1 draw, causing concern. UEFA stated, “A detailed maintenance plan is in place to address specific issues and further improve quality ahead of the upcoming fixtures at the venue.”

Upcoming games include Germany vs. Switzerland on Sunday, Slovakia vs. Romania on Wednesday, and a round-of-16 match on July 1, potentially featuring Portugal.

German midfielder Chris Führich acknowledged the field’s reputation for being “not so firm,” causing players to struggle with stability. He remarked, “It’s extremely slippery… you have problems with stopping yourself properly,” having experienced it firsthand with his club Stuttgart.

In related events, UEFA has replacement fields ready. The surface at Switzerland’s training stadium was recently relaid after a formal complaint. England coach Gareth Southgate noted similar issues during Belgium’s loss to Slovakia on Monday, adding, “When you play on a pitch like that it puts you on edge because you are not sure of your footing.”

UEFA’s expert consultants have observed consistent improvements in pitch quality over the previous season, despite persistent rain complicating field conditions during Euro 2024. For instance, Poland and the Netherlands were unable to practice on Hamburg’s surface before their opening game at Volksparkstadion.

This isn’t the first time UEFA has faced such challenges. Playing surfaces were relaid during Euro 2016 in Lille, France, and Euro 2008 in Basel, Switzerland, with turf imported from the Netherlands. As the tournament progresses, UEFA remains committed to ensuring optimal field conditions for all matches.