Mbombela pitch a disgrace for Africa – Adebayor

2013-01-31 12:46

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Togo star Emmanuel Adebayor has blasted the dire state of the Mbombela Stadium pitch.

The Sparrow Hawks skipper labelled the shocking outfield a disgrace for a major African tournament, joining a bandwagon of stars who have voiced their displeasure of the sandy pitch.

“The Confederation of African Football (CAF) must do something about this,” an embarassed Adebayor said after his side’s 1-1 draw against Tunisia at the stadium yesterday.

“The stadium is one of the best I’ve seen but the whole world can’t be watching Africa playing on a field like this.

“In Europe, people will send messages asking if we are playing in a bush.”

Togo – basking in the joy of their first knockout stages participation – face Burkina Faso at the Mbombela Stadium on Sunday night.

The winner will play a semi-final fixture at the Mpumalanga venue next Wednesday.

Over the past two weeks, the stadium has been badly criticised by Group C teams – Zambia, Nigeria, Ethiopia and the Burkinabe – who played most of their games there.

However, the state of one of the country’s best playing surfaces was mostly hurt by the heavy rains that fell in the area shortly before the competition kicked off.

Dethroned African champions Zambia partly blamed their early exit from the competition on the bad pitch, which they felt hampered their normal passing game.

Chipolopolo coach, Herve Renard, said: “If I say the pitch was a problem, then people will think that I’m crying.”

Adebayor, who plies his trade for Tottenham Hotspur in England, was worried about how the continent would be judged on the world stage.

One of Africa’s best exports, and a star attraction in the finals, felt that a country that successfully hosted the best teams during the 2010 Fifa World Cup should be able to do the same for a continental showpiece.

“We are all Africans and need to be honest because this field is a disgrace to the continent,” he said.

“We can do better, especially after having hosted the World Cup two years ago.”

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