FIFA reject claims they are using ‘Augusta approach’ after World Cup stars find ‘strange stains’

Kylian Mbappe at the World Cup Credit: Alamy
Kylian Mbappe at the World Cup Credit: Alamy

FIFA have dismissed claims that ground staff have been painting pitches during the World Cup, according to reports.

It has been claimed that World Cup players, including England stars, have been complaining about ‘strange stains’ on their kits at the end of matches.

That has seen FIFA deny that they aren’t using the ‘Augusta approach’ on stadium pitches at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

As reported by the Daily Mail (via the Daily Mirror), players are less than pleased with the patches on their kits, which are different to normal grass stains.

They use green paint at Augusta National Golf Club to make the greens look in perfect condition for the Masters and FIFA have been accused of using the same trick at the World Cup.

At Augusta they cover bare areas of the surface with green paint to give the illusion that the grass is in pristine condition but the Daily Mail say that FIFA ‘are adamant that is not the case and say that warm-up areas are being marked out with green paint’.

The bizarre stains will be the least of England’s worries when they come up against France on Saturday with England assistant manager Steve Holland insisting that Kylian Mbappe will need “special attention”.

“I think there are a handful of players on the planet that you need to consider special attention to,” Holland said. “Messi has been one and probably still is.

“You’d have to put Mbappe in that kind of category I would suggest.

“We do need to look at trying to avoid leaving ourselves in situations where he is as devastating as we’ve all seen. We have to try to find a way of avoiding that.

“I remember having a conversation with (Jose) Mourinho about it a long time ago when he was with Real Madrid, they were playing Barcelona and they had (Cristiano) Ronaldo.

“(Dani) Alves would be the right-back for Barcelona and flying forwards in attack, he would play a soldier against him to try to stop him.

“But then of course you don’t get any threat from your team from the soldier as you’re just stopping somebody, you’re not actually hurting them.

“Then he would try to play Ronaldo against him, directly, one against one because Alves was fantastic going forwards but maybe not quite as good defensively as a consequence.

“There is always a plus and a minus to every one. It’s that cat and mouse of, yes, we have still got to try to deal with him but we also have to try to exploit the weakness that his super strength delivers, if I’m making sense.

“Trying to adapt your team to cover for that while still trying to create your own problems is I think the challenge.

“I would like to think we won’t just be looking to stop a player but we would be looking to try to do everything possible to limit his super strength whilst still trying to focus on our own strengths because we have good players.

“Players just as likely to cause France trouble as Mbappe would be to us. We have to find that balance.”

READ MORE: England starting XI from 2018 World Cup makes ‘typical England’ talk a lazy joke


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