Serbs switch pitches after injury scare - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Serbs switch pitches after injury scare

09/06/2010 11:10:31 PM Comments (0)

Football's governing body FIFA have given Serbia permission to switch their World Cup practice pitch after the Serbs insisted their players risked injury on the uneven surface.

Serbia arrived in South Africa on Tuesday and went straight to train on their practice pitch at AW Muller Stadium in western Johannesburg but their squad complained the newly-laid surface was dangerous and uneven.

Some of their star players, like Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic and Ajax striker Marko Pantellic, expressed concerns about risking injuries ahead of the Eagles opening Group D match against Ghana in Pretoria on Sunday.

"I think they put a surface down a few days ago, so the pitch has not yet laid down nicely," said Lazio defender Aleksandar Kolarov with Serbia set to make their World Cup debut as an independent nation.

"The surface was a bit unstable, so we were worrying about injuries."

The team's press spokesman Alexsandar Bojkovic said there had been no injuries after the training session on the turf but that the Serbians had expressed concerns on an inspection visit to Johannesburg a few months ago.

They had been reassured the surface would be re-laid, "but we weren't told the work would be done three or four days before we got here," said Bojkovic.

"However, as soon as we told FIFA our concerns, we were given permission to switch the training grounds and we are grateful to FIFA for that."

With more than a thousand fans expected to watch the open training on Wednesday afternoon, the Serbians will use the AW Muller Stadium before switching on Thursday to the University of Johannesburg rugby stadium.

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