The grass field at Falcons Stadium for the Copa America tournament draws criticism

At NFL stadiums, football players legitimately complain about the turf. Footballers legitimately complain about the grass.

The opening match of the Copa America, held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta on Thursday evening, sparked complaints from Argentina about the quality of the recently installed pitch.

Via Doug Roberson of Atlanta Journal-Constitution-Argentine technical director Lionel Scaloni Slam the grass playing surface. He said it “affected his team’s tactics” in the 2-0 win over Canada. Scaloni said his players “were not able to pass as they wanted to.”

Scaloni has repeatedly said the turf was installed Tuesday. In fact, it was postponed four days before the match, after Atlanta United faced Houston in the MLS on Saturday.

A meeting to discuss the possibility of replacing the current surface with grass from the same farm is scheduled for Thursday. Per Roberson, the meeting was not related to Scaloni’s statements.

Many players also complained about the grass. Via Lizzie Pecharano of ESPN.com, Argentina goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez said: “The condition of the stadium was a disaster. Very bumpy. We must improve in this aspect, otherwise the Copa America will always appear at a lower level than the European Championship. Canadian defenseman Kamal Miller added: “I felt like I was walking on a stage, like it was hollow.”

Copa America matches are played in several NFL stadiums – Atlanta, Miami, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Arizona and Kansas City. More than 70,000 attended the opening game last night.

The next match is scheduled to be held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Thursday, June 27, between the United States and Panama. For the Copa America, turf was rolled over the existing artificial playing surface. As Roberson noted, it is likely that the 2026 World Cup matches will be “removed, dirt laid and grass planted” for the 2026 World Cup at the same venue.

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Naturally, the grass will then be removed and replaced with a surface that footballers do not prefer.

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