Copa America 2024: Argentina's 2-0 win over Canada overshadowed by poor field condition

The surface acted as a barrier for the players to play a normal game, Scaloni said

By Web Desk
June 21, 2024
Lionel Scaloni was dissatisfied with the surface used in their face off with Canada. —Reuters

The world champions Argentina defeated Canada 2-0 on Thursday at the stadium in Atlanta. However, Lionel Scaloni, coach of the Argentina football team, was not satisfied with the conditions his team faced during the match because of the field.

The stadium's field was originally made of artificial turf, but the organisers used grass sod for the tournament. The grass was installed after Atlanta United’s last match on June 15.

The manager of the Argentina national team said that it’s good that they won the match; otherwise, this would have been considered a cheap excuse.

"Thank goodness we won, because otherwise it would have been a cheap excuse to sit here and say this but we've known we were going to play here for seven months and they changed the surface two days ago," said Scaloni.

"It's not good for the spectacle. I'm sorry, it's not an excuse, but it's not a pitch. The stadium is beautiful and with the synthetic turf it should be spectacular, but with the (grass) turf today. Honestly, it's not suitable for this kind of players," he said.

Scaloni mentioned that the surface acted as a barrier for the players to play a normal game, and that impacted their performance in the match.

"They were not feeling confident with the poor condition of the pitch, they couldn’t make the passes that they wanted.

"Given the poor condition of the pitch there wasn’t much we could do," he said.

Emiliano Martinez, on the other hand, the goalkeeper of Argentina, also discussed the surface in the post-match presentation.

"Coming here, against a strong Canada, who have good strikers, good players, on a pitch that is a disaster, made it a bit difficult for us," said the keeper.

"We have to improve in that aspect. If not, the Copa America will always be at a slightly lower level than the European Championship," he said.