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Ghana defender Pantsil refuses to criticise terrible Nelspruit pitch

Published on: 03 February 2013

Ghana defender John Pantsil has refused to complain about the terrible pitch in Nelspruit.

The Black Stars will play their semi-final match of the 2013 Nations Cup against Togo/Burkina Faso at the Mbombela Stadium on Wednesday.

Many have criticised the quality of the playing surface in Nelspruit - claiming its unfit to hold such an important game.

Zambia were the first to complain and they blamed their early exit on the poor state of the playing turf.

The Chipolopolo said the surface of the pitch made it difficult for their free flowing passing game.

But Ghana's right-back refuses to criticise further - saying worse pitches have been used in the past by the current big stars from Africa.

"It (the pitch) looks quite bad from what we see on tv," he told MTNFootball.com

"We see sand coming out whenever a kick is taken or a tackle is made.

"But we are Africans and therefore shouldn't forget where we came from.

"Some of us have played on worse pitches when we were growing up so I really don't want to criticise that much."

Comments

  • jb says:
    February 03, 2013 06:55 pm
    GFA should formally ask the venue to be moved.. South Africa has many first class pitches. Why do they choose to play one of only two semi finals on such a pitch..Why not Port Elizabeth or some other place?They did not include this in the WC two years ...so why now..no respect for Africa?
  • jimmy says:
    February 03, 2013 07:40 pm
    Just love the pitch. It will help you. If you fight it, it will fight you. Love and appreciate it... It simple but truth.
  • mashud jozi says:
    February 03, 2013 08:17 pm
    I have with u.when they won last year they did complain
  • Viper says:
    February 03, 2013 08:23 pm
    GFA should be demanding a change in venue,this pitch is unacceptable.
  • Unknown says:
    February 03, 2013 08:32 pm
    After the group stages and today's quarter final they still don't realize this pitch is a complete shame? I hope this does not affect our play and that we come out on top, preferably injury-free!
  • tzooh says:
    February 03, 2013 08:36 pm
    Mbombela was used in the World Cup
  • jb says:
    February 03, 2013 08:43 pm
    IF GHANA MEETS B-FASO ON this pitch, Ghana will be at a disadvantage...Faso players used to playing in the desert sand....
  • Africa4Ghana says:
    February 03, 2013 09:27 pm
    That pitch can never be changed today or tomorrow.The cities hosting the matches won it via bidding process and if any change is done, it will affect the budget of the municipality that is hosting the matches- Mbombela.I also learnt that CAF made it clear to the countries that played there after many complaints that, there is no plan to move the matches away to another city and went by saying that plan A, B, and C is Mbombela. I do agree that the pitch is very bad, but lets hope it improves a little better than what we are seeing on TV.Go Blackstars go.
  • Africa4Ghana says:
    February 03, 2013 09:41 pm
    @ jb. Mbombela hosted these matches in 2010 WC. 2010-06-16 13.30 Honduras 0–1 Chile Group H 32,664 2010-06-20 16.00 Italy 1–1 New Zealand Group F 38,229 2010-06-23 20.30 Australia 2–1 Serbia Group D 37,836 2010-06-25 16.00 Korea DPR 0–3 Cote d'Ivoire Group G 34,763
  • Viper says:
    February 03, 2013 10:15 pm
    Thats not the point,if the pitch hosted world cup matches,that was then.The pitch is unfit to host matches now and considering the country has so many other stadia with good pitches play on.
  • GH FUO, THINK BIG!!! says:
    February 03, 2013 10:19 pm
    MENTALITY RULE NUMBER 7..... 7. Don't complain about the facilities
  • A concernend citizen says:
    February 03, 2013 10:44 pm
    Although i would not like to criticize the pitch because we are going to play there and just to keep positive but i would like to say that we are in the 21st Century so why South Africa is still living in the 18th Century with this horrible pitch?.
  • GH FUO, THINK BIG!!! says:
    February 03, 2013 10:59 pm
    MASSA, GO TO GH AND COMPLAIN ABOUT THE FACILITIES. IF NYANTAKYI DARES COMPLAIN ABOUT THE FACILITIES IN SOUTH AFRICA. SOMEONE BETTER GIVE HIM A SLAP! LOOK AT THE FACILITIES WE HAVE IN GH IN THIS SAME 21ST CENTURY? ARE WE NOT ALL AFRICANS? LAST I CHECKED, GH AND S AFRICA WERE IN THE SAME DAMN CONTINENT! NKWASIAS3M!
  • GH FUO, THINK BIG!!! says:
    February 03, 2013 11:01 pm
    LOOK, S AFRICA SAYS THIS IS THE PITCH AVAILABLE. U THINK GH IS SPECIAL THAN THE OTHER NATIONS WHO PLAYED ON THAT PITCH/ IF U DONT WANT TO PLAY. JUST FORFEIT THE GAME, AND LET BURKINA MOVE ON.
  • PEACE says:
    February 03, 2013 11:03 pm
    This could be a blessing for Ghana. Let's pray luck comes our way.
  • Africa4Ghana says:
    February 03, 2013 11:13 pm
    @ Viper. I agree with you , but lets look at the explanation by the manager of Mbombela.The reason given by the manager was questionable but the information available is clear that we can not do anything about it than to do all things possible to win against Burkina Faso on that pitch.READ THIS: Mbombela offer explanation for bad pitch Mbombela Stadium Manager Roelf Kotze says the reason the pitch has been unplayable is because of extreme bad weather Posted: 31 January 2013 Time: 10:25 am Mbombela Stadium Manager Roelf Kotze says the reason the pitch has been unplayable is because of extreme bad weather conditions in the area recently. Located in Nelspruit, the stadium is in the spotlight after teams that played there during the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations group stages slammed the "sandy" pitch. Togo captain Emmanuel Adebayor had some strong words last night on the state of the pitch, saying: "To be honest with you I'm very sorry but it's a disgrace for our continent to be playing on this pitch when it's on TV around the world." KickOff.com contacted Kotze, who explained why the pitch is in a shocking state. "We had 250 mm of rain on December 28 so there was an algae outbreak which is difficult to control chemically. Now, the problem is you can't treat that drastically with chemicals because you don't want to kill your grass," he says. "So they had to use other methods by first of all mechanically trying to remove some of the algae by raking the pitch and secondly, by placing loose sand on the pitch so that dries off the algae. But just after that they had another 250 mm of rain so that made it 500 mm of rain over a short period. All of that contributed to the outbreak of algae," he says. "So now the main concern that the players had after playing here was because of the loose sand on the pitch and the reason the sand was there was to try to contain the algae. "So what has happened is that last night after the match [Togo vs. Tunisia], all the loose sand has been manually removed from the pitch to expose the grass up to the normal level," Kotze continues. The next match at the stadium will be Togo against Burkina Faso on February 3 in the quarterfinals and Kotze has allayed fears that the pitch may still be unplayable. "We are confident that [removing the sand] will strengthen the grass
  • jb says:
    February 04, 2013 12:56 am
    the condition then was different from what it is today...South Africa know it does not meet FIFA standards and CAF know that too...but they not acting.. no respect for Africans by Africans...South Africa should be punished for this....banned from hosting games for 20 years
  • selfmade says:
    February 04, 2013 01:44 am
    These black star players are cowards and have no fucking balls between their fucking thighs!!! How can players with huge experiences be cowards like this??!!! Always talking big but chicken out against even debutants!! Our play sucks big time and these average players are all fucking coward!!! Viva the revolutionciooooooooo!!!
  • Godbless says:
    February 04, 2013 04:17 am
    Cowards indeed, i was become annoyed when i see them play especially our defenders and Asamoah Gyan.
  • Godbless says:
    February 04, 2013 04:19 am
    i meant i always become
  • Viper says:
    February 04, 2013 09:18 am
    There is a difference between a group stage match and a semi-final match..
  • Chu says:
    February 04, 2013 12:25 pm
    Good tough mentality. Win in every condition make you undisputable champs. We have won qualifiers on more dreadful pitches