The two-day Seminar for Pitch Preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, held in Fortaleza (Ceara state), came to a conclusion yesterday. The event brought together pitch specialists from the 12 Host Cities, with key guidelines being put in place for all the stadiums hosting matches at Brazil 2014.

The event began on Thursday, with the Governor of Ceara state, Cid Gomes, in attendance along with FIFA representatives and members of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Local Organising Committee (LOC).

FIFA organised the gathering with a view to establishing quality and durability standards applicable to all the pitches to be used at Brazil 2014. In the opinion of world football’s governing body, it is essential that all pitches are managed, maintained and cut according to the same guidelines.

A decision has yet to be made on the types of grass to be used at the tournament. This will be taken once FIFA has carried out studies across the country, which has four different types of climate in the months of June and July, each with different rainfall patterns. Pitch construction is thus a key factor when it comes to standardising guidelines, as drainage and irrigation systems will vary from venue to venue. The grass types selected will need to offer durability as well as the ability to regenerate quickly and adapt to each specific climate.

The Host Cities will receive guidelines on the construction of pitches and the equipment needed to maintain them before and after Brazil 2014. Speakers at the seminar pointed to the need for special pitch care at venues with a cold climate, as tropical grass species have greater difficulty in establishing themselves at low temperatures. Pitch specialists will assess the projects presented by the 12 Host Cities in close detail and will provide their assistance in implementing them.

As the LOC’s Executive Operations Director, Ricardo Trade, explained, the Host Cities have a major responsibility in ensuring they get pitch preparation right.

“As a country famed for its football, the onus and the moral obligation is upon us to stage a superb FIFA World Cup finals, with each venue offering the same level of quality,” he said. “This is our opportunity to show the world just how good we are even when we don’t have the ball at our feet.”