Players complain of football turf
SHENYANG, China (AP) Brazilian football players are not happy with the state of the field at the new Shenyang Olympic Stadium, saying tall grass and a hard surface are creating difficulties for the teams.
"It's hard to control the ball because it comes jumping at you, and it's hard to make accurate passes because the grass keeps the ball from rolling properly," said Brazil midfielder Hernanes, who scored the winning goal in the team's 1-0 victory over Belgium on Thursday.
The newly built 60,000-capacity stadium has a special type of grass which is resistant to the rigorous winter of Shenyang.
"It looks like an artificial turf," Hernanes said. "It made things harder for us."
Coach Dunga said Brazil is at a disadvantage to play in this type of grass because its skillful players need to rely on ball control and accuracy to play at their best.
"We couldn't use our speed and our skills," Dunga said. "If the field was in better conditions we would have played better too."
Brazil will play in Shenyang again against New Zealand on Sunday, and it could be back for the quarterfinals if it finishes first in Group C. Its final group-stage match is in Qinhuangdao against China on Aug. 13.
The Brazilians, seeking their first Olympic gold in football, lead the group with three points. China and New Zealand, which drew 1-1 on Thursday, have one point each, while Belgium has none.
Members of the Beijing organizing committee in Shenyang said they would not make any immediate comments. They declined to say whether changes would be made to the turf.
A total of 12 matches will be played in the stadium, including two quarterfinal games, one in the men's competition and the other in the women's.