The EMEA Synthetic Turf Council (ESTC), Synthetic Turf Council (STC) and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will see the ESTC and STC joining FIFA’s all-important Technical Advisory Group (TAG).
The FIFA TAG reports directly to the International Football Association Board (IFAB). This board determines the Laws of the Game of association football.
Currently the TAG consists of representatives of the various FIFA Preferred Producers and FIFA Approved Laboratory Test Institutes, as well as representatives from FIFA licensees and member associations.
It has been agreed that the ESTC and STC will be bestowed the Observer Status. This status is currently only reserved for World Rugby and Dr. Eric Harrison, an independent consultant with a long track record in synthetic turf.
ESTC Director General Stefan Diderich is very pleased to join the table where all important developments, research and ambitions regarding synthetic turf for football are being discussed and considered. “The STC and ESTC represent the entire value chain in synthetic turf for football. Our presence will allow us to better represent the voice and interest of all companies and organisations within the entire industry.
“It will also allow us to add value to the debate about the future of synthetic turf. The advantages synthetic turf offers proof that the game cannot do without this surface. However, we do acknowledge that synthetic turf, the maintenance thereof as well as the general perception of this type of surface can be improved. The possibility to discuss matters directly with representatives of all interest groups will, without a doubt, speed up processes and allow us to become more effective.”
Katharina Wistel, Manager FIFA Quality Programme, said: “For FIFA the cooperation with ESTC and STC is an opportunity for a continuous exchange between the industry stakeholders and the football community. It is also a pledge to engage in an open dialogue about the existing challenges, technical innovations and the performance standard for Football Turf as defined by FIFA.”