Sint-Truiden is the only club in the Jupiler Pro League that plays on a synthetic field. Following the serious injury to KV Mechelen right-back Rafik Belghali, talks have resumed.
This weekend, during the match between STVV and Mechelen, Mechelen’s right back Rafik Belghali He sprained his knee and left the field for less than ten minutes. He will miss at least six months of competition.
At the beginning of this season, Anderlecht coach Brian Riemer He had already described the state of the synthetic Sint-Truiden as “catastrophic and dangerous.” He was right?
Kompany joins Riemer
In preparation, Burnley and Vicente Kompany He wanted to play a friendly match against Sint-Truiden, but refused to play it on Stayen’s synthetic grass. In the end, the match was canceled because the Diest town council, where the match was finally going to be played, did not give authorization.
At the end of last season, the Antwerp defender Jelle Bataille He wasn’t very enthusiastic either. “Playing there once a year is more than enough. The next day I’m much stiffer than usual. It’s the least pleasant course in Belgium.”
Of course, artificial grass has important advantages. Firstly, there is less need to replace it. Its last comprehensive renovation dates back to 2019 and is valid for eight years, with good maintenance. Roland Duchateletstill owner of the infrastructure, he says they clean it every week.
Up to three times greater risk of injury
Brushing necessary to straighten artificial stems. Brian Riemer I also thought they were very flat. Studies have shown that the risk of injury on artificial turf is much higher under competitive conditions.
The risk of rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament, like Belghali’s, is three times higher on an artificial pitch than on a traditional pitch, according to the UK’s National Health Research Centre.
Therefore, the question has arisen several times: Are the benefits worth the risk? In Sint-Truiden it would be impossible to pass through a completely traditional field, since there is a commercial parking lot underneath the stadium. Therefore, a hybrid grass is being considered and studied.