French media on National Arena lawn, after Romania-France game: field of potatoes, garden with molehills

The Romania-France football match which took place on Tuesday evening on Romania’s new National Arena ended without any of the team scoring goals, but with most comments directed towards the quality of the grass, rather than on how the French and Romanians played. The disastrous lawn made more headlines than the game itself.

The freshly planted grass turned out to be insecure ground for the players, causing injuries to some. Mid-through the game, some players have even arranged large pieces of detached, clay-rooted grass to prevent their colleagues from falling. Even before the break, the stadium was filled with holes.

49,000 people watched the game from the tribunes, of which 300 french fans, according to Romanian media. The French media also commented on the poor quality of the field. Le Monde compared it with a grotesque field of potatoes, while l’Express called it a garden filled with molehills. Le Monde even called the game “a parody of international match.” Read Le Monde’s article here.

“The enthusiastic public agitates the small flags in the tribunes of the new, shiny National Arena, the new pride of the country. Except it misses the essential to allow a good match: a correct lawn,” writes L’Express. Read the full article here.

Bucharest municipality representatives said the poor quality of the grass was due to the weather conditions. It was installed by an Italian firm which will replace the affected areas.

20 football matches will take place on the newly-opened stadium in Bucharest until December this year. English football team Machester United will come to Bucharest to play against Romanian side Otelul Galati on October 18 in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

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(photo source: National Arena website)

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