Spain avoids Gdansk turf ahead of Ireland match

Spain avoids Gdansk turf ahead of Ireland match

Published Jun. 13, 2012 8:40 p.m. ET

Spain trained at the team's practice ground Wednesday ahead of its second European Championship match to avoid damaging turf at the Gdansk Stadium that some of its players complained about following an opening draw with Italy.

The defending champions passed up the customary stadium practice session on the eve of their Group C match against Ireland on Thursday.

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque and some players complained that the Gdansk Arena turf was too dry and long in the 1-1 draw against Italy, although an official protest wasn't lodged with UEFA.

''It was a fact that the state of the pitch didn't help our game,'' midfielder Xabi Alonso said on Wednesday at the stadium. ''We expressed our opinion from the last game and (if) some things can improve, then better for us and the game.''


Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni said the forecast was for rain.

''It's true. Maybe they make a mistake,'' Trapattoni said jokingly. ''Also, for us, it's good if it's different, if it's raining tomorrow morning. If it's not raining maybe we can ask also (to water) the pitch.''

World Cup winners Spain also play Croatia at the same stadium on Monday.