The Vanarama Conference are to allow the use of artificial 3G pitches from the start of the 2015-16 season. The move comes as a surprise to many, after Conference clubs voted against the plan to reintroduce the artificial pitches earlier in 2014.
The move also sees The Conference become the highest level of English league football to allow the use of artificial pitches. Plastic pitches were banned from English professional football in 1995 but are more commonly used in Europe.
A statement taken from the Conference official website said, ‘Following recent dialogue with the F.A and Football League, the Football Conference’s Board intends to allow competition matches to be played on ATP’s in all three divisions from the start of the 2015/16 season. Such approval will only to be given where surfaces meet the standards of instillation and criterion for use, which are to be agreed by the respective authorities’.
‘Further statements will be made as and when the standards and criteria are agreed with all our football partners, ensuring a pragmatic and practical approach is made when considering applications for their use at Levels 1 & 2 of the National League System and associated Cup & Trophy competitions’.