FA to allow artificial pitches

The FA are expected to announce a rule change that would enable non-league clubs to play FA Cup ties on artificial pitches as early as January 2015.

Last Updated: 20/03/14 at 17:09 Post Comment

Non-league clubs are to be allowed to play on artificial grass from 2015

Non-league clubs are to be allowed to play on artificial grass from 2015

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

They won the battle to bring back artificial surfaces to the competition proper - from the first round onwards - after the Challenge Cup committee voted in favour of removing a 20-year ban on the surface in the FA Cup on March 11.

And if the ruling is ratified by the Professional Game Board, four of which were part of the main FA board who voted for the original change, the Football Foundation is expected to invest half of their facility budget over the three year funding deal into developing new 3G surfaces.

Under the current ruling 3G pitches can only be used in the qualifying stages of the FA Cup, and despite the fact that each pitch would cost approximately £550,000 to build, it is a change which FA general secretary Alex Horne welcomes.

"There was a very positive discussion at our recent board meeting about the use of 3G pitches in the FA Cup from the first round proper for next season," said Horne earlier this month.

"I welcome the FA Challenge Cup committee's decision this week to endorse that view. The proposal will now go to the Professional Game Board meeting on March 20 for ratification."

Earlier this week Sky Sports News' grassroot survey was released, which concluded that more than 65% of the 2,500 respondents said they did not think local councils did enough to support facilities and the costs of low-level football, while 83.7% said the FA do not do enough to preserve the grassroots game.

However by linking new 3G pitches with local professional football clubs this would enable their outreach work to take place more efficiently and allow home-grown young talent to be identified.

Other advantages include the benefit of floodlights in winter months and extended playing time as an artificial pitch can be played on for around 80-90 hours a week compared to the five hours of play you would get on a grass pitch.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

ou can't blame De Gea for wanting to leave, he has enough to do in front of goal as it is as well as taking on the role of Man Utd's version of Derek Acorah in trying to contact and organise a defence that isn't there.

rodger's gusset
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

I

f you want to take six points off Arsenal, then that's a great strike force. Can't imagine either of them showing much for the rest of the season though...

foot in mouth
Adebayor & Berbatov: You Have To Admire The Balls

L

ooks like Real get their man, most likely at their own valuation, yet again. Resistance is futile.

paul7702
Van Gaal downbeat on De Gea

Footer 365

Digne agent denies Liverpool talks

Lucas Digne's agent has denied reports he has held talks with Liverpool regarding a move to Anfield for the Paris Saint-Germain left-back.

Mourinho scuppered Reds' Costa move

A new biography has revealed how Jose Mourinho scuppered Liverpool's bid to sign Diego Costa - a year before he arrived in west London.

Ramos 'extends' Real Madrid contract

Manchester United's pursuit of Sergio Ramos is over after the centre-back agreed a new contract extension at Real Madrid.

Mail Box

De Gea Disrespectful? Remember RVP...

We got dozens of mails from people pointing and laughing at Brian D for suggesting David de Gea has acted disrespectfully; we printed some. And there's more...

Getting Tired Of De Gea's Disrespect

One Manchester United fan is growing weary of David de Gea's disrespect. Plus thoughts on Southampton's summer, Balotelli loan, and Depay in the centre. Why?

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company