Gullit: Plastic pitches ruining Dutch football

Dutch great Ruud Gullit believes football is going backwards in the Netherlands since artificial pitches were introduced into their game.

Concerns have been raised about the state of the game in the country following the Oranje’s failure to qualify for successive major tournaments in Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup.

Meanwhile, the national team began the Ronald Koeman era with a 1-0 defeat to England in a friendly at the Amsterdam ArenA on Friday.

Gullit, who played for Feyenoord and PSV in his homeland, is not a fan of synthetic surfaces, which he feels is a detrimental effect on their football at all levels.

“I’ve said all along we can’t have these pitches, but in Holland, they were promoting it,” the 55-year-old said at an event in London.

“The people who were promoting it had an interest in it and are now on the board of the KNVB [Netherlands football federation]. Now we know it’s ridiculous, but to reverse it will be difficult.

“We’ve gone backwards. It’s destroyed our football. It’s a different game, totally different. If they [every league] played on plastic I would accept it, but we have six in the Eredivisie and it’s outrageous.

“Now we are finding that players don’t want to come and play in Holland because of it and young players want to leave.

“The crazy thing if you want good natural grass, Holland is the place to come. We have the best natural turf in the world.”