Emmanuel Adebayor has criticized the pitch at Mbombela Stadium. It’s the same venue where Togo took on Tunisia on Wednesday. That match ended in a draw and with the help of that draw, Togo cruised into the quarterfinals of the African Cup of nations.
In the post match press conference, Adebayor looked disappointed with the nature of the pitch.
The Tottenham star said, “The nature of the pitch over here is quite poor. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy playing here. It was not a good pitch at all. There was uneven bounce and it was really difficult for the players to control the ball.”
“This tournament is being seen by people all over the world. Everyone would have seen how the pitch behaved today and people around the world would say that the matches in Africa are being played in Bush. We all belong to Africa and it’s embarrassing for all of us.”
“The stadium is fantastic; no doubt about that. But, the pitch is pretty sandy. The matches of such big tournaments can’t be played on this kind of pitch.”
Not only has Adebayor criticized the Mbombela pitch, the coaches of Zambia and Nigeria have also criticized it. The coach of the Zambia team, Herve Renard, had said that the nature of the pitch was the main reason why his team didn’t manage to reach the knockout stages.
Mbombela is an important venue. Togo will play its quarterfinal match here and then, one of the semi final matches will also be played here.
According to the reports, just a few days before the start of this competition, it rained heavily in the northern Nelspruit. So, the curators had to lay sand on the pitch and as a result, the nature of the pitch became poor.