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– It is not justifiable, and I understand that it was cancelled. It was impossible to play on this ground. The process until we got to the stadium was extremely amateurish on the part of NFF and Kolbotn, says Riise.

The teams were actually due to meet on Wednesday evening for a game in the Toppserien, but only an hour before the start the league announced that the game had been called off.

The reason for this is that the pitch was rejected by the match delegate and the referee, as they considered that the safety of the players and the referees was not sufficiently taken into account.

– It is very unfortunate that the game was called off at such short notice, especially for Avaldsnes who had to travel from western Norway without being allowed to play the game. We are sorry about that, said the Norwegian Football Association’s director of communications and public relations, Gro Tvedt Anderssen.

Many reacted to the cancellation of the match. Riise is also supported by the experts.

– It’s a scandal, says NRK expert Carl-Erik Torp.

– It is a scandal. I saw the photos of the course. It’s a completely fair decision, but it should have been made before Avaldsnes left, says Moe Wold.

Was notified one hour before the game

NFF says they will now review the case internally, to find out what could have been done differently.

– We need to have an internal review with reports from the construction consultant, the referee and the match delegate to find out what points have failed, including if we should follow up better on our part and if the organizer should have a lead reserve when he knows there is a need for a factory upgrade at Sofiemyr Stadium, says Tvedt Anderssen.

Riise thinks the game could have been taken away from the field in good time.

– This could have been resolved on Monday by switching to artificial turf, which they have played on all season. Amateur, writes Riise.

RESPONDS: John Arne Riise responds to the process.

Photo: John Arne Riise/Instagram

The Avaldsnes coach says he was told the game was canceled about an hour before the game started.

– In the end, there is nothing we can do about it. They could have solved it much better already on Monday, and then we can only make the most of it and watch LSK against Vålerenga, then we go home tomorrow, says Riise.

John Arne Riise

BUY: John Arne Riise is unimpressed that the game against Kolbotn is finally called off.

Photo: Lars Thomas Nordby / NRK

Criticism for the municipality

In a press release, Kolbotn specifies that an inspection of the course was carried out on Monday, where three points for improvement were noted.

The course had to be watered, because it seemed too hard, it was necessary to fill or level small pits in the course and to reinforce the markings of the course.

The club claim the municipality have put in place measures to address this, but the course was still dismissed and Kolbotn supports the decision to call off the match. Now they are going hard against the municipality, which runs the course.

– Kolbotn assumes that the municipality of Nordre Follo takes top-level women’s football more seriously in the future, so that we can continue with top-level football in this municipality.

The municipality responds to this statement.

– We take top-flight football at Kolbotn very seriously and are always working to make the pitch as good as possible. However, the grass pitch at the Sofiemyr Stadium has no underheating, so we are completely dependent on good weather this early in the year. Now the telecommunications are continuous in the field, which is difficult to get the track in the best possible condition, explains Gry Larsen, Commercial Director of Road and Park, Municipality of Nordre Follo.

I hope to finish

Kolbotn IL general manager Harald Vaardal said the club was sorry the match could not be played on Wednesday.

– It didn’t have to be like that, and we hoped to end the match. We received a signal from the NFF that it could be played on the pitch with certain measures. Then we were convinced it could work, Vaardal tells NRK.

The municipality is the owner of the course and it is itself which initiated these measures.

– They said they thought it was enough, so we thought the game could be played, says Vaardal.

– The municipality informed of the measures of NFF after having inspected the course. There were three measures they wanted to put in place, including watering the course because it is quite difficult. With the TV in the ground, we can’t push on the water because of the TV in the ground, because the water is not the water is removed, says Larsen.

Vaardal says they had to water the course, fill in some pits that had formed over the winter and they had to mark the course more clearly. But that was not enough.

– We were told that the pitch was not safe to play and that they had to ensure the safety of the players and the coaches, he explains.

Alec Dittman

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