The Copa America is played on smaller fields than usual. How does that harm the teams?

Football news 03 july 2024, 08:32
Yasmine Green Dailysports's expert Yasmine Green
The Copa America is played on smaller fields than usual. How does that harm the teams?

The Copa America is currently being held in the USA, which has already caused a storm of resentment among fans, players and coaches alike. The stadiums where the matches take place have also received a lot of flak.

Firstly, the venues have been criticised because the pitch size is too small. The stadiums are equipped with the smallest pitch size allowed by COMNEBOL: 100 metres long and 64 metres wide.

While the standard turf size regulated by FIFA has the following parameters: 105 metres long and 68 metres wide. The difference is seemingly insignificant, but it already affects the tactics of the teams:

"I would like to pay attention to the size of the pitches. This means that the matches will be more closely fought. The team defending their zone will be able to go on the counter-attack and move into the half of the pitch much quicker. It's something to think about," Brazil head coach Dorival Júnior said after the draw with Costa Rica.

The reason is that 10 of the 14 stadiums host American football matches, where the pitch is different in size. It is 110 metres long, which is within FIFA rules, but only 49 metres wide.

At the 2026 World Cup, which will also be hosted by the USA, no one will make any exceptions and the pitch must have a clear 105x68 metres. Therefore, some stadiums will have to undergo millions of dollars worth of work, including the removal of the first rows of seats, in order to have more space for the playing area.

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