North Macedonia-Italy, it’s controversy over the playing field
Polemic over the quality of the playing field in Skopje
Controversial aftermath at the conclusion of Macedonia of the North-Italy on Saturday night, a match of the Euro 2024 qualifiers that ended 1-1: several representatives of the Azzurri team, interviewed in the post-match by 'Rai' and 'Sky Sport', expressed their annoyance with the poor quality of the playing surface of the Toshe Proeski Arena.
"We are not looking for alibis but playing on such a field" said Sandro Tonali. Coach Luciano Spalletti himself, while not acknowledging it as the main cause of the disappointing result, confirmed that playing on such a field "è was certainly very difficult".
Even Eljif Elmas, a North Macedonia midfielder owned by Napoli, agreed with those who è complained about the field. "For us è a great result but we played on an unwatchable pitch,” he said, “I apologize to all Italians and to all of Europe. You don't play soccer on these fields, è it was a problem for Italy but also for us".
In any case, North Macedonia is proving to be a real black beast of Italian soccer: after the disappointment inflicted in the play-offs to qualify for Qatar 2022, the Eastern European selection has complicated Italy's path to the next European Championships, forcing it to score a full result against Ukraine to nmon run the risk of losing contact from the top two positions.