Posts Tagged ‘FIFA’

What the FIFA?!?

May 20, 2013

Amongst the items mentioned in Council’s February report on Arlington is $10,000 every 3 years for FIFA 1-Star Accreditation of the new surface. Marrickville Council flagging it as a cost is surprising.

At TOMORROW NIGHT’S Council meeting, you’ll hear 8 questions-on-notice from Councillor Mark Gardiner answered by Council, among them: “Please advise why Council would assume costs of accreditation to FIFA 1 Star of an artificial surface at Arlington”.

Council’s answer raises even more questions:

“FIFA standards provide two levels of playing surface certification. FIFA 1 Star is intended for community and municipal use generally at club level whilst FIFA 2 Star accreditation is intended for professional level. Specifying FIFA 1 Star, at least at the initial construction phase, is considered essential to ensure an acceptable quality of workmanship, surface quality and durability is delivered by the contractor suitable for intended use. “

I draw your attention to FIFA’s document on their accreditation scheme (fqc_football_turf_folder_342 PDF):  1-Star accreditation is intended for “National Training & Matchplay, Municipality”, in other words, not just ‘local’ municipal level matches, but state and national grade matches.  The interesting bit is what 2-Star accreditation (which costs even more) is for: it’s a much newer standard that acknowledges “player’s feedback, medical research, test results and information from the industry since the implementation [of the 1-Star accreditation] in 2001”, given the  increased performance of modern artificial surfaces (e.g.. “4th generation”) that come closer to approximating “the perfect natural grass pitch model” (so, real grass is better after all, eh?), and is intended for “Top clubs, Stadia, International Matchplay”.

Here’s the rub:

  1. Council have under-stated what 1-Star accreditation is intended for
  2. FIFA 1-Star accreditation appears to not adequately measure the greater * medical research * and more accurate playability of modern (‘4th generation’?) artificial turf
  3. Council has included $10,000 every 3 years for this 1-Star accreditation at the same time that certain Councillors have promised that “usage of Arlington won’t increase” – that is, Arlington will remain used by DHFC & SHFC only – which is all the surrounding facilities of parking and traffic and noise-impact can accommodate.

If you want a new artificial surface installed to FIFA 1-Star specifications, fine, specify that in your tender documents – but why bother paying for the piece of FIFA-paper when (a) it doesn’t really mean anything IN THIS DECADE, and (b) it’s not required for Arlington’s current, future-promised, and practical level of usage?

Lets ignore the apparent meaninglessness of FIFA 1-Star accreditation nowadays – if that’s what the industry wants to be fleeced for, so be it.

Does Council’s pursuit of FIFA 1-Star accreditation signal an intention, or simply leave open the possible use of Arlington for state level matches, regardless of the impact on local residents – which is exactly what happened at Northbridge ?

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