Iraq coach Zico slams Singapore pitch

05 September 2011 10:30

Iraq's new football coach Zico on Monday slammed the synthetic pitch at Singapore's Jalan Besar Stadium, saying it was not worthy of a World Cup qualifying match.

The Brazilian legend is looking for a win on Tuesday to kickstart his team's qualifying campaign after they lost their first match.

But he complained: "It's not professional. the qualifiers of the World Cup needs the natural grass.

"This is difficult for our team because the Iraq team has good technique, and now the field is not good for us, not good."

Zico, who signed on as Iraq's coach eight days ago, repeated his gripe numerous times during a press conference in the city-state, saying the pitch would only be "okay. maybe for school".

Singapore coach Raddy Avramovic said it was "not ideal" but added: "At this moment Singapore has not built a new stadium so that's the only solution for us."

The city-state formerly held major football matches on the grass turf of the National Stadium -- but the venue was torn down to make way for a sporting hub due to open in 2014.

Zico -- nicknamed the "White Pele" due to his prolific finishing record as a player -- also said his team were tired after a long flight immediately after their game against Jordan on Friday.

And he said he had not had enough time to speak with and train his men, stating that "a miracle is not possible in football".

Iraq currently lie at the bottom of their group after losing 2-0 against Jordan in their opening World Cup third-round qualifying match.

Singapore are just ahead in the standings after slumping to a 1-2 defeat against China.

"Tomorrow's game is really important for us because we need a win," said Zico, who led Japan to the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany.

Source: AFP