Ghana defender Pantsil refuses to criticise terrible Nelspruit pitch

John Pantsil

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.”

READERS COMMENTS

  1. jb says:

    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?

  2. jimmy says:

    Just love the pitch. It will help you. If you fight it, it will fight you. Love and appreciate it… It simple but truth.

  3. mashud jozi says:

    I have with u.when they won last year they did complain

  4. Viper says:

    GFA should be demanding a change in venue,this pitch is unacceptable.

  5. Unknown says:

    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!

  6. jb says:

    IF GHANA MEETS B-FASO ON this pitch, Ghana will be at a disadvantage…Faso players used to playing in the desert sand….

  7. Africa4Ghana says:

    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.

  8. Africa4Ghana says:

    @ 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:

      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:

        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.

    • jb says:

      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

  9. A concernend citizen says:

    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:

      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!

  10. PEACE says:

    This could be a blessing for Ghana. Let’s pray luck comes our way.

  11. Africa4Ghana says:

    @ 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

  12. selfmade says:

    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!!!

  13. Chu says:

    Good tough mentality. Win in every condition make you undisputable champs. We have won qualifiers on more dreadful pitches