The FA looks set to embrace artificial surfaces

How Worthing FC's pitch might look with a 3G artificial surface
How Worthing FC's pitch might look with a 3G artificial surface

THE tide appears to be turning on the future of 3G pitches with The FA reportedly agreeing to embrace the artificial surfaces from next season.

A 12-person committee chaired by FA chief Greg Dyke last week is understood to have rubber-stamped the move to allow all competitions to be played on non-grass surfaces from next year.

This comes as a boost for non-league clubs who are looking to make the switch to the all-weather surface.

Worthing Football Club announced plans to install a state-of-the-art 3G pitch at Woodside Road last month, but concerns had been raised about how far they could progress up the football pyramid with the Conference, Football League and Premier League all blocking any teams from having 3G surfaces.

The news that The FA has decided to embrace things – which will lead to a change to FA Cup rules – after a 20-year ban will put pressure on the higher leagues to follow suit.

Maidstone, who Rebels faced on their 3G pitch last season in the Ryman League South Division, have been locked in a long battle with the Conference to be allowed in, should they be promoted.

The Stones currently sit second in the Ryman League Premier Division but have been told they can not progress any further up the pyramid with a non-grass pitch.

It is now hoped that The FA’s example will put pressure on the Conference and Football League to reconsider their stance.