The development of the standard
The benchmark for testing from the start has been natural grass pitches in good condition. Only if the artificial surface can meet the requirements as set out in the Handbook of Requirements is it awarded one of the FIFA quality marks and accordingly called football turf.
For the testing of the surfaces, a stringent two-phase testing procedure, which includes testing the product in the laboratory and testing the final installation, ensures that the football turf meets the requirements for Playing Performance, Safety, Quality and Durability. Both testing phases, in the laboratory and on the final installation focus on:
- Interaction between the player and the surface
- Interaction between the ball and the surface
- Product composition
- Weather resistance
- Seam strength
- Service life
Comparing the results of both tests, the end consumer can be sure that the product on the field of play fulfils exactly the same requirements as set out by the FIFA Quality Programme. If both tests are passed successfully, FIFA awards the final installation either the FIFA QUALITY or FIFA QUALITY PRO mark.
Additional quality assurance by FIFA
In addition to the mandatory testing procedures, FIFA is also carrying out additional quality assurance checks on randomly selected fields. The aim of those assessments is to support the end user by providing guidance in terms of how to use and maintain the field correctly. Furthermore, the manufacturer will be informed in the event that repair works are needed.
The visual inspections and spot checks help us to identify the problems which may occur during the installation and to check whether maintenance is being done correctly.
Professor Eric Harrison, FIFA consultant