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11th Jun 2024

Strange UEFA rule to appear at Euro 2024 after similar trick tried in Premier League

Harry Warner

JOE Quiz

Sometimes teams will look to gain an advantage by any means possible

An odd rule that does not apply to the Premier League will be in place during this year’s Euro 2024 tournament in Germany.

The rule concerns the watering of the pitch, including where, when and for how long before a match it is done in order to deter tactical exploitation of the sprinkling system.

This calls back to April when a match between Bournemouth and Manchester United at the Vitality Stadium saw only the half United were attacking in being watered to the extent where some fans were calling it “unplayable.”

Although the FA has rules concerning good pitch etiquette there is nothing that directly addresses the watering of the pitch.

This is an issue UEFA has jumped on, issuing rules on how and when the water sprinkler system can be employed that will impact directly Euro 2024.

In its guidelines for pitch watering, it says:

The host association must announce the pitch-watering schedule at the pre-match organisational meeting. The pitch must be watered evenly and not only in certain areas. As a general rule, pitch watering must finish 60 minutes before kick-off. Additional pitch watering may be carried out if so decided by the host association in the qualifying competition and by UEFA in the final tournament, provided it takes place:

  • between 15 and 10 minutes before kick-off (or between 20 and 15 minutes before kick-off during the final tournament depending on the countdown); and/or
  • during half-time (for a maximum of five minutes, allowing substitute players to warm up on the field of play).

The host nation Germany will be confident enough in their own abilities without having to employ the dark arts to win games as Head Coach Julian Nagelsmann said: “There is already the expectation that we will do better than we have in recent years, and our fans are excited to have the tournament on home soil.”

“We will face up to the task. It is a huge task, it will be challenging, and it’s certainly not a chance that comes around very often.”

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