Euro 2024: UEFA to improve Frankfurt pitch after England match

UEFA have vowed to improve the quality of the Deutsche Bank Park pitch in Frankfurt after England were critical of the surface during Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Denmark.

Amid fears of storms in the area, the roof at the 58,000-seat arena was closed several hours before kickoff, creating a humid atmosphere which seemed to contribute to the surface cutting up as large chunks of turf flew into the air as players tackled each other.

Southgate insisted England could not use the surface as an excuse for their performance but admitted he noticed the issue with pitch.

“I’ve been a defender [and] when you play on a pitch like that it puts you on edge because you’re not quite sure of your footing and you’re not quite sure when one moment, one slip could cost the team,” Southgate said.

European football’s governing body UEFA said in a statement: “UEFA and its independent pitch consultants have been working closely with the grounds team in Frankfurt in the build-up of the tournament to guarantee optimal playing conditions and have seen the overall pitch rating improve consistently over the course of the previous season.

“A detailed maintenance plan is in place to address specific issues and further improve quality ahead of the upcoming fixtures at the venue.”

Switzerland face Germany at the same venue on Sunday before Slovakia and Romania face off three days later. There is also a round-of-16 game at the stadium on July 1.

The surface in Frankfurt was re-laid last November following two NFL games staged at the stadium but in March, Germany manager Julian Nagelsmann called it a “catastrophe” following a friendly win over the Netherlands.