Football pitches, football gears and football players. All requirements for a good game of 11-a-side football. Players and fans alike will be quite familiar with football gears thanks to major brands like Adidas, Nike and Puma. However, how much do we know about the football pitches that a 11-a-side game is played on? Read on to find out more.
Let’s start with the basics, the dimensions for the football pitches. In accordance with FIFA Laws of the Game 2014/2015 (you can find it here -Laws of the Game ), the length of the football pitch should be between 90 – 120 metres while the width should range between 45 – 90 metres. For international matches, FIFA has stipulated stricter criteria, 100 – 110 metres for length and 64 – 75 metres for width. As for the white lines that mark down these dimensions, FIFA leaves nothing to chance and have specified that these lines must be of the same width and not exceed 12 centimetres.
Field of play
The 18-yard box, the corner flag and the semi circle at edge of box. These are some of the terms that we commonly refer to for different areas on the football pitches. Well, FIFA has a set of defined terms for these areas on the football pitches. The 18-yard box is called the penalty area, corner flag is known as corner arc while the semi circle at edge of box is the penalty arc. For the other areas on the pitch? Just take a look at this comprehensive graphical representation that FIFA has.
FIFA allows 11-a-side football games to be played on either natural or artificial surfaces. However, in recent years, we do notice a trend of more artificial (or hybrid) surfaces being built for football games (opening match of 2014 FIFA World Cup was played on a hybrid surface) to deal with the varying climate conditions, high maintenance costs of natural grass and increased usage on the pitch . Hence we will be focusing more on the artificial surface in this section. FIFA’s criteria for artificial surfaces are as follow:
- Colour of the surface must be green.
- If to be used for a FIFA endorsed match, it must meet the requirements of FIFA Quality Concept for Football Turf or the International Artificial Turf Standard.
If you are booking an artificial surface football pitch, see if you are able to find out whether it’s FIFA 1 or 2 Star recommended. FIFA 1 Star certifies that the artificial surface meets the quality level for community fields, national and amateur matches. On a FIFA 2 Star artificial surface, the pitch meets the quality level for top leagues, international and professional matches – equivalent to playing on the same field type as Messi.
Currently in Singapore, we have 15 FIFA recommended football pitches and you will be surprised to know that almost all of them are at educational institutes. And the last we checked on the FIFA website (Recommended pitches in Singapore), the artificial surface of the National Stadium at Singapore Sports Hub is not on the recommended list, pretty much sums up the $800,000 problem-plagued field fiasco.
Where to play?
After reading our brain-stretching guide on football pitches above, we bet you must be now be itching to play some football. So where do you find the pitches? Fret not, we list down below some resources which should be able to help you locate the football pitches in Singapore for your game.
We end off this post with a glorious picture of the world’s largest and our very own floating football pitch at Singapore’s iconic Marina Bay. Have fun kicking.