Brendan Rodgers, Celtic manager, appeals to the Scottish Government for the abolition of plastic courts

Brendan Rodgers, Celtic manager, appeals to the Scottish Government for the abolition of plastic courts

Brendan Rodgers, CELTIC manager, called on the Scottish government last night to help the Ladbrokes Premiership remove artificial plots.

The Scottish champion faces a difficult league match against Livingston tomorrow on the much-criticized plastic surface at the Tony Macaroni Stadium.

Rodgers, who believes that Astroturf can not go to the top league in this country, admits he has to choose the key players as a result of the meeting.

The Northerners stressed that he can understand the financial motives behind the top clubs Hamilton, Kilmarnock and Livingston who install 4G.

However, he has called on Holyrood to provide funds for the care of the grasslands – and to protect the image of the Scottish game throughout the world.

"The Premiership is the flagship of Scottish football for me, and there should be no places for Astroturf," Rodgers said. "It's as simple as that. If this is the flagship league that it is, we should not have it.

"The teams that have them probably also need some help. They obviously have to generate money, so they do it. But let's see if the government, if councils can help the teams, where they find an artificial field, somewhere else nearby, and let the main stages be grass.

"We try to promote a level and a standard. Whether we like it or not, this (plastic distances) does not make your flagship league here in Scotland the best standard.

"I respect and understand all other things connected with the community clubs. That's what I'm saying. It's not just her fault. You need help. Can we help the teams in football and in government? "

Rodgers added, "There are enough teams, Motherwell, Dundee, Partick Thistle, when they were there, St Johnstone, who have fantastic playing fields.

"St. Johnstone has a nice grass field, and outside of that they have an artificial turf pitch to earn the money from the community. If they have to train and work there, that's what they do.

"So we have to promote a standard because it's global. I'm not sure what we want to promote as a flagship league. I just think that they are standards that you know.

"I'm not so sure about the injury. You will get injuries on good pitches. But I think it's about standards and the quality of the game for fans. I've always said it – I've never seen a good game on an artificial turf pitch. I'm sure we will not see the best game over the weekend. "

Rodgers admitted that Filip Benkovic, who was crowned Celtic's impressive 2-1 win against RB Leipzig on Thursday night in the Europa League, may miss out on Livingston tomorrow. "Big question mark," he said. "Of course it's frustrating."

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