What is Football Turf?

Football Turf = Artificial Turf?

It is in this context that FIFA acknowledges the potential of artificial turf for the development of football. Due to its resistance to weather and more intense use, it qualifies as the best alternative to natural grass. However, the product range of the third generation shows huge quality differences between the various systems available on the market.

FIFA RECOMMENDED 1 STAR and 2 STAR marksOnly artificial playing surfaces which have been tested in the laboratory and on the field according to the stringent testing criteria of the FIFA Quality Programme can be called football turf. This name means that those systems fulfil the quality requirements necessary for football in terms of Playing Performance, Safety, Durability and Quality Assurance.


To identify football turf fields, FIFA is awarding the FIFA QUALITY mark to fields that meet the standard for community and amateur fields and the FIFA QUALITY PRO mark to fields that ensure the highest playing performance for professional-level football.


The history of artificial turf

  • 1966

    The first artificial playing surface

    The first artificial playing surface in sport is installed and used in the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. The surface becomes known as Astro Turf.

  • 1980

    Artificial turf in football

    Artificial turf is used for the first time in professional football in the 1980s. Clubs in England, like Queens Park Rangers, replace their natural grass surfaces with artificial grass of the second generation.

  • 1994

    Inconsistent quality and safety issues

    Due to the poor quality and safety issues, all artificial pitches used in the English Premier League before 1994 are replaced by natural grass.

  • 2001

    The FIFA Quality Programme for Football Turf

    FIFA and UEFA start a quality assurance programme for artificial turf. The aim is to develop an industry standard for artificial surfaces used for football.

  • 2003

    The first FIFA tournament on football turf

    The FIFA U-17 World Cup in Finland is the first FIFA tournament in which one of the four host stadiums is equipped with football turf. Ten matches, including the final, are played on a first-generation football turf pitch.

  • 2004

    Laws of the Game

    The IFAB (International Football Association Board) agrees to address football turf in the Laws of the Game. Only surfaces which are FIFA 1 Star RECOMMENDED, FIFA 2 Star RECOMMENDED or IATS tested may be used for international matches.

  • 2007

    FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru

    The FIFA U-17 World Cup in Peru is the very first international football tournament to be played entirely on football turf. The decision is taken based on the local requirements of a dry climate with occasional heavy rainfall. The pitch also provides a useful legacy for the country.

  • 2009

    FIFA Preferred Producer

    FIFA implements the FIFA Preferred Producer initiative in order to further increase the quality of football turf and protect the end-user. Preferred Producers meet the FIFA quality criteria in all areas of football turf pitch construction.

  • 2015

    FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015(TM)

    The Women’s World Cup Canada 2015TM was the first senior World Cup to be entirely played on football turf. A total of 52 games were played in the tournament on 3rd Generation pitches, with the USA going on to claim their third World Cup title.

  • 2015

    Release of new FIFA Quality Marks

    In 2015 the FIFA Quality Programme released a new Test Manual  containing more stringent requirements for football turf installations. With the release of the new manual a set of new Quality marks were introduced - FIFA QUALITY and FIFA QUALITY PRO which will replace the FIFA RECOMMENDED 1 Star and FIFA RECOMMENDED 2 Star marks.