World Cup Qualifier: Iraq coach Zico slams Singapore pitch

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Iraq‘s new football coach Zico on Monday slammed the synthetic pitch at Singapore‘s Jalan Besar Stadium, saying it was not worthy of a World Cup Asia qualifying match.

The Brazilian legend is looking for a win on Tuesday to kickstart his team’s qualifying campaign after they lost their first match.

But he complained: “I don’t like the field, the grass, because I think the good game is in the natural grass.

“It’s not professional, these middle games, the qualifiers of the World Cup 2014 needs the natural grass…

“This is difficult for our team because the Iraq team has good technique, and now the field is not good for us, not good.”

Zico, who signed on as Iraq’s coach eight days ago, repeated his gripe numerous times during a press conference in the city-state.

The coach — nicknamed the “White Pele” due to his prolific finishing record as a player — also said his team were tired after a “long” flight immediately after their game against Jordan on Friday.

And he said he had not had enough time to speak with and train the Iraqi players after he joined the team last Sunday, stating that “a miracle is not possible in football”.

Iraq currently lie at the bottom of their group after losing 2-0 against Jordan in their opening World Cup 2014 third-round asian qualifying match.

Singapore also came away from their opening match pointless. But they are just ahead of Iraq in the standings after slumping to a 1-2 defeat against China.

“Both of us, Iraq and Singapore, we lost our first match… tomorrow’s game is really important for us because we need a win,” said Zico, who led Japan to the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.

Iraq were crowned 2007 Asian Cup champions but today they are ranked 109th in
the world, 20 places above Singapore.

The Jalan Besar pitch will make a difference compared to the bog that masqueraded as a football field at the Tuodong Stadium.

Said coach V. Sundramoorthy: “Our boys are used to playing on this surface. Everyone’s ready for the next game and we want to continue the good work we’ve done so far.”

“We need to take advantage of the fact that Iraq are travelling and need to get used to the Singapore weather,” Bennett added.

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