The Hamburg stadium field was declared off-limits to the teams from the Netherlands and Poland just a day before their first match at the European Championship. The field had been newly laid after the host club Hamburger SV completed its final home game on May 19 in the Bundesliga second tier. UEFA had ordered a new grass surface to be installed at the Volksparkstadion to ensure its quality for the upcoming Euro 2024 tournament. The stadium is set to host five games, including one quarterfinal.

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman expressed his disappointment at not being able to train on the field due to its poor quality. The teams were told to conduct their official training sessions at their respective base camps. Despite UEFA’s assurance that the field was in good condition, both Koeman and Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk noted similarities to a field in Frankfurt where they had faced a defeat in a friendly match against Germany.

Poland captain Piotr ZieliƄski, on the other hand, mentioned that the field did not look as bad as perceived by others. UEFA’s primary goal is to provide the best possible playing surfaces for the national teams participating in the tournament. They often install new fields at stadiums and training camps and have backup options in case a field needs to be replaced during the month-long event.

In another incident, Switzerland raised concerns about the training camp surface near Stuttgart, prompting a formal complaint to UEFA. However, despite the initial setback, the Swiss team managed to secure a 3-1 victory against Hungary in their opening game, indicating that the field quality may not have significantly impacted their performance.

It is essential for UEFA to ensure that the playing surfaces meet the required standards to facilitate fair and competitive matches throughout the tournament. With the teams adapting to the varying conditions of the fields, their ability to perform at the highest level will be put to the test. As the Euro 2024 unfolds, the focus will remain on providing the players with optimal conditions to showcase their skills and compete for the coveted championship title.