The push to convert soccer pitches from natural grass to artificial turf in India has been taken up by FIFA in a bid to help develop the sport in that country. At its own cost FIFA plans to install artificial turf fields in five football grounds in India.

The top priority project is a ground in Manipur and when this has been completed the next four grounds to be given a layer of artificial turf will be in Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya and Punjab.

When the turf has been installed at Manipur it will become the second artificial turf soccer stadium in India following the installation at Goa a few years ago.

With the need for top quality playing surfaces required for soccer to be played at the highest level FIFA has taken a significant step towards promoting the sport in the country. The project that this installation program falls under is the FIFA initiative dubbed “Win In India With India Programme”.

As with field hockey, soccer is a different game when played on artificial turf because so much depends on the smooth roll of the ball. Pitches in India are either patchy at best or completely devoid of grass and so the unpredictable bounce of the ball can significantly impact the way the game is played.

FIFA representatives will be returning to Manipur to inspect the ground once the artificial turf has been installed.

Visit this story about the first multi-purpose artificial turf ground in India.