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UEFA rejects Redknapp's call for ban on artificial pitches

Tottenham had a tough night on the plastic pitch at Young Boys' Stade de Suisse stadium, losing 3-2.
Tottenham had a tough night on the plastic pitch at Young Boys' Stade de Suisse stadium, losing 3-2.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • UEFA rejects Tottenham's call for a ban on artificial pitches
  • Tottenham lost 3-2 to Young Boys in Champions League playoff
  • Spurs manager Harry Redknapp criticized plastic pitch at Stade de Suisse
  • UEFA says only the final must be played on a grass surface

(CNN) -- UEFA have rejected Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp's call for artificial pitches to be banned after his side lost 3-2 to Young Boys in the Champions League playoffs.

Redknapp was scathing about the plastic surface in Switzerland and said he was forced to rest several of his players due to their concerns about picking up injuries on the hard ground.

Tottenham struggled to adjust to the pace of the pitch and the English Premier League side conceded three goals in a nightmare first 28 minutes of the match.

Goals from Cameroon defender Sebastian Bassong and Russian striker Roman Pavlyuchenko brought Spurs back into the game but Jermain Defoe was forced off with a groin injury.

Redknapp later called for the astroturf pitch to be banned for the Champions League -- a suggestion that UEFA swiftly rebuffed.

A spokesman told CNN: "All stadiums are inspected several times before a match to make sure the pitch, among others, complies with the enclosed regulations, would it be a natural or artificial turf.

Uefa's regulations state that only the final of the Champions League must be played on grass.
--UEFA spokesman
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"UEFA's regulations state that only the final of the Champions League must be played on grass."

Tottenham's narrow defeat means they should still be favorites for the return leg at White Hart Lane next week, but after the match Redknapp called for a change to the rules.

"I couldn't say it's a preferred surface," Redknapp told reporters. "It's a good pitch but you have to get used to playing on it. It's not an excuse.

"I played on astroturf and hated every minute of it. We had it at QPR but we don't have it any more in England and personally I don't agree with it and I don't think astroturf should be used in a competition like this.

"I had a nasty feeling. I kept looking at the players training on the pitch and they didn't look happy. I had four players out because they weren't comfortable on the pitch in training.

"Aaron Lennon wasn't comfortable, Robbie Keane had a problem with his knee and Tom Huddlestone, the last time he played on astroturf he was out for six weeks."

Article 13.08 of UEFA's Champions League regulations states: "With the exception of the final which must be played on natural turf, matches in the competition may be played on artificial turf in accordance with the UEFA Stadium Infrastructure Regulations and provided that such artificial turf meets the FIFA Recommended 2-Star Standard."