Until this new ruling artificial grass was banned apart from a few dispensations for clubs in the north of the country, where matches of no substantial influence could be played indoors from late autumn. Clubs from the first division and below have been playing on synthetic pitches for some years now.
Following the introduction of the third-generation synthetic turf in 1999, both FIFA and UEFA have been discussing the issue. FIFA gave some dispensations in 2000 and UEFA has now stated that European games can be played on the artificial surface from the 2004/2005 season.
There are a number of rules guiding the use of the synthetic pitches, with UEFA setting the standard. The NFF will also check the surfaces before each season and the clubs will have to use them for every home game. UEFA has decided to give financial support to a number of top European clubs to test out the pitches.
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