Germany coach raises risk of injuries on slippery Frankfurt field at Euro 2024

Germany coach raises risk of injuries on slippery Frankfurt field at Euro 2024

Published Jun. 22, 2024 4:20 p.m. ET

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann is anxious about players getting seriously injured in Frankfurt on the slippery turf that was laid several months ago after NFL games in the stadium.

Nagelsmann raised the risk of ACL injuries when Germany plays Switzerland on Sunday (3 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app). Germany must avoid defeat to finish on top of Group A at the European Championship.

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The Waldstadion field in rainy Frankfurt was cut up badly in two previous games at Euro 2024 — Belgium’s 1-0 loss to Slovakia and a 1-1 draw between England and Denmark, which was played under a closed roof.


"I’m not worried about the footballing aspect, more about the danger of injury to the players," Nagelsmann said on Saturday in translated comments. 

"Players such as (Jude) Bellingham we saw had problems, and they risked serious injury. If you slip you really risk getting injured," the Germany coach said of the England star who had a subdued game on Thursday.

Nagelsmann said he also noticed England midfielder Declan Rice also slipping "and there were some very risky situations."

This isn't a new concern for Nagelsmann. A turf field replaced a hybrid surface for two NFL games seven months ago. Turf was then restored for Eintracht Frankfurt games ahead of the winter, and the stadium also hosted the German national team in March, for a 2-1 win in a friendly against the Netherlands.

That evening, Nagelsmann called the surface a "catastrophe," and on Saturday said it had "not improved a lot" and was "a bit of a tricky situation."

Switzerland coach Murat Yakin made a joke about the subject when asked, because his players also had turf issues at their tournament training base in Stuttgart. A formal complaint to UEFA led to a new pitch being laid this week.

"You’ve noticed we have trained for a week on a terrible training pitch," Yakin said on Saturday, "and that could be beneficial for us."

The Frankfurt stadium is not yet halfway through its five-game Euro 2024 duty. It hosts Slovakia vs. Romania in a decisive group-stage game on Wednesday (noon ET on FS1 and the FOX Sports app), and a round-of-16 game on July 1 involving Portugal.

UEFA has a supply of turf fields in reserve, typically in the Netherlands, and has installed replacement fields in mid-tournament at Lille, France in 2016 and Basel, Switzerland in 2008.

Reporting by The Associated Press.


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