It is a very special place.". The estimation is the club has lost 1,000 balls in 40 years. Estadio Víctor Agustín Ugarte, another stadium in Bolivia, is even higher with an altitude of 3,960 meters (12,992 ft). "And of course it is - a beautiful view and beautiful village. "Sometimes there are games when you won't lose any balls or maybe one, then there are others when 10 balls go out and before our next training we have to go down there and look for them. The village of Gspon - inaccessible by road - is made up of around 70 wooden chalets and in winter becomes a small ski resort. The pitch is perched 2,000 metres above sea level, surrounded by peaks twice that high, in the Swiss Alps close to the resort of Zermatt. This stadium is used by football … "We have to clear the pitch because up here it doesn't melt so good," Brigger says. Get latest scores and headlines sent straight to your phone, sign-up to our newsletter and learn where to find us on online. The Bernabeu's record was set back in 1956 when just shy of 130,000 saw Real take on Italian giants AC Milan in the European Cup Semi-Final. "We cannot allow discrimination in football, we cannot allow... exclusion in the world of sports," he added. The stadium is named after German former Switzerland and Bayern Munich manager Ottmar Hitzfeld, who took the ceremonial opening kick-off when it hosted the inaugural European Mountain Village Championship in 2008.  On 1 April 2009, FIFA called Bolivia's 6–1 victory over the Maradona-coached Argentina national team a "stunning defeat in high altitude against the rank outsiders". Morales said the ruling amounted to discrimination: "This is not only a ban on Bolivia, but it is also a ban on the universality of sports." "My father also played here. It's so high that in winter it becomes a ski run and so remote that the pre-match journey has to be done by two cable cars. Analysis and opinion from our chief football writer. The latest rumours and stories from around the world of football. "Every time it is good weather it is really special to play here," says captain and midfielder Sebastian Furrer. " However, on 10 June 2010 Blatter stated that "The subject of altitude is not on FIFA’s agenda. "Normally there is half a metre on the pitch and we have to get it all off. "You see the mountains, the glaciers, the trees - it is fantastic.". That is the players' job. I used to come up and watch him play and it is nice to be able to play where he played. The ruling followed complaints by the Brazilian Football Confederation that La Paz and other Andean venues left visiting players gasping for breath and with pounding hearts. Online calculator.  Sepp Blatter, FIFA's president, said the prohibition had been provisionally lifted while further studies were conducted on the effect of high altitude as well extremes of temperature, humidity, and high levels of pollution, saying "Let us reopen the discussion. Maradona did not blame the altitude for Argentina's defeat, giving credit to the Bolivian players "from the goalkeeper to the last substitute".. The artificial pitch, smaller than your standard size because of the unsurprising lack of flat land, was built in 2009, 35 years after the club was formed. "We have to put it all to the side of the pitch. Compare it to the Aztec Stadium in Mexico City (7,400 feet) or the Estadio Hernando Siles in Bolivia (9,800 feet). Brazilian club Flamengo had vowed to boycott high-altitude games after several of its players resorted to using bottled oxygen during a Copa Libertadores fixture against Real Potosí of Bolivia, held in rainy conditions at an altitude of 3,637 metres (11,932 ft). Despite having been in existence as the game we know it to be now for over 150 years, regardless of how obscene the wages that the top players are paid have become, irrespective of how rubbish some games can be, football remains one of the most popular sports across the globe. However, the highest stadium in the world is Estadio Daniel Alcides Carrión located in Peru with an altitude of 4,380 meters (13,973 ft) above sea level. Top 10 Biggest Football Stadiums In Europe. The reasons for wanting to play here are clear, but it is not without its downsides. Read about our approach to external linking. Located at the top of the Andean mountains, Cerro de Pasco is the capital of the Pasco region and has a population of around 60,000. All of the football associations in South America except Brazil stated that they would ignore the ban on high-altitude football and play fixtures in the stadium of their host's choice, whether or not they had the opportunity to acclimatise for a week. "It is the most beautiful place you can play football," says FC Gspon defender Diego Abgottspon, who has played here for 18 years. The tournament runs alongside the conventional European Championship every four years, with "mountain teams" representing nations from across the continent, and will return to Gspon in 2020. ", Eddie Hearn chats elite mentality with the Liverpool defender. The ruling meant that Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia would be prevented from hosting FIFA World Cup qualifiers in their own capital cities.  FIFA's executive committee voted to rescind the ruling, thus allowing Bolivia and Ecuador to host World Cup qualifying games in their capital cities. Diego Maradona joined the campaign, playing an hour-long game at Hernando Siles stadium in La Paz, which is located 3,600 metres (11,800 ft) above sea level, to show that if a 47-year-old could play there, so could fit, young professionals. From October onwards the pitch is covered by thick snow - that is until the worst kind of pre-season training begins in late spring. Bolivia's president, Evo Morales, vowed to lead a campaign against the ban after speaking at an emergency cabinet meeting. The highest football stadium in the world is the Estadio Daniel Alcides Carrión, which can be found in the city of Cerro de Pasco, Peru. If we are 5-0 down at half-time we know we can come back and win. "For the opponents it is harder. The ban was revoked in May 2008. The ruling required players to arrive at the host city one week before international games above 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) and two weeks for matches higher than 3,000 metres (9,800 ft), to allow time to adjust to the thin air. How to get into football - the most popular sport in the world, with clubs and facilities throughout the UK. Okay, so The Hawthorns may be the highest league ground in England and Wales but we hardly need to get the ski goggles and oxygen masks out for a trip there. The high-altitude football controversy arose in May 2007 when FIFA introduced a temporary ban on international matches at more than 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) above sea level, citing concerns about players' health and the "unfair" advantage to acclimatised home teams. Morales described the ban as "football apartheid," said he would send a high-level delegation to FIFA's headquarters in Zurich, and called on other countries to join his campaign. "We are used to it," says Abgottspon, who plays for the club around being a ski instructor turned salesman. "Most of the time the balls travel about 100 metres down the hill - sometimes they're 200 or 300 metres further down," says defender Alfons Brigger. Almost all who visit leave stunned by the ground's beauty. The Ottmar Hitzfeld Stadium - the 'highest' football stadium in Europe. FC Gspon are an amateur team who play in the Swiss Mountain League and they proudly call their home ground the highest football stadium in Europe. The high-altitude football controversy arose in May 2007 when FIFA introduced a temporary ban on international matches at more than 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) above sea level, citing concerns about players' health and the "unfair" advantage to acclimatised home teams. The Beautiful Game Has a Beautiful View at Europe’s Highest Pitch At 2,000 meters above sea level, Ottmar Hitzfeld stadium is the highest football pitch in Europe. Many of Bolivia's major cities, including Sucre and Potosí, are at high altitude. A large net spans one side of the pitch and while it stops the ball disappearing down the mountainside most of the time, accidents can happen. "We are a team that is extremely strong in our home town.". "It is your hometown and it makes you proud that a lot of people think it is beautiful," Brigger says. . Author: Andrew Bretherick, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=High-altitude_football_controversy&oldid=980009966, Articles with dead external links from May 2011, Articles with unsourced statements from September 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 24 September 2020, at 02:36. ", Bolivia lead fight against FIFA ban on high altitude, "Maradona tops Bolivia's Morales in match celebrating high-altitude soccer", https://www.fifa.com/worldcup/news/newsid=1044558.html#maradona+theres+nothing, Nine countries commit to play at high altitude, "FIFA suspends ban on high altitude football", Blatter: My mission is not over: on the issue of altitude, Why Fifa's altitude ban is the height of stupidity, How much effect does altitude have on footballers?
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