Seed World

Perfect Pitches Were on Display During UEFA EURO 2024

Product Development Manager Turf Grass,

Anne Mette Dahl Jensen is Product Development Manager Turf Grass at DLF. She has a PhD in Biology and a long experience in endophyte and turf grass research, advice on maintenance and establishment and in consultancy service and advice to authorities on the topics; maintenance and establishment of urban green and gray areas, pesticide free maintenance, artificial turf, golf course maintenance and climate projects

Share Post:

UEFA EURO 2024 is almost finished, and football fans across Europe and the world are eagerly anticipating the final thrilling match. The tournament kicked off at the Allianz Arena in Munich and concludes with the final at Berlin’s iconic Olympic Stadium. In preparation for a successful tournament, ensuring the quality and performance of the football pitches was paramount. Pitch standardization and quality measurement begins long before the tournament and continued throughout, guaranteeing consistent high standards across all venues, from the training pitches in each country, the training facilities in Germany to the 10 match stadiums.

All matches will be played on hybrid pitches, a playing surface that combines natural grass with synthetic fibers to enhance wear, performance, and playability. The FIFA Quality Program for Natural Playing Surfaces offers standardized testing procedures to ensure uniformity and excellence in pitch quality. This program evaluates, among other things, traction, ball roll, ball rebound, surface hardness, water infiltration, ground cover, root depth, diseases, color, moisture, and thatch. These measurements, influenced by the chosen grass species and varieties, help groundsmen to prepare pitches in optimal condition.

The preparation for finals involves both the stadium pitches and the training grounds. These pitches must mirror the quality of the match venues to ensure players can seamlessly transition between training and match pitches. Groundsmen start preparing early, conducting rigorous tests to set maintenance directions, and selecting appropriate grass varieties for overseeding. Typically, a combination of turf perennial ryegrass and smooth-stalked meadow grass is used for establishment, while turf perennial ryegrass is chosen for overseeding before and during the tournament.

The lack of a universal grass seed specification means that UEFA consultants monitor pitch quality standards to ensure consistency across the many pitches which is vital to both player performance and the spectator experience.

The turf seed industry has an interest in the performance of these stadiums, as the success of the pitches is a testament to the collaboration between groundsmen and top-performing turf grass species and varieties. The objective measurements provided by the FIFA Quality Program enable groundsmen to achieve the desired uniformity and visual appeal, ensuring the pitches meet the high standards expected at such a prestigious event.

The finals combine the relentless efforts of groundsmen, supported by the latest advancements in turf management, the best performing grass varieties, and quality measurement, to deliver world-class surfaces. The finals in Germany will not only be a celebration of the football game but also, a showcase of the meticulous maintenance and expertise that goes into creating the perfect pitch.