The Rizal Memorial Stadium is now on a level playing field with its international counterparts.
The FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) governing body bestowed the Malate-based football field with a Recommended 2-Star certification after successfully undergoing a battery of tests, as announced by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), the official sports arm of the Philippine Government.
The new distinction is viewed as a significant step in pushing football towards national consciousness, as it paves the way for Rizal Memorial Stadium to become eligible to host major global tournaments, including top-tier FIFA competitions such as the World Cup.
PSC Chair Ricardo R. Garcia was quick to point out the impact of the upgrade. “The PSC is proud to provide our Filipino athletes with a pitch that has the highest levels of quality, safety and durability. The FIFA 2-Star accreditation means that our players will be playing on a pitch that is on par with some of the world’s best football pitches. This is a great day for Philippine football,” Garcia said.
E-Sports International, the local carrier of Limonta Sport artificial turf technology and a key player in the sports architecture industry, installed the pitch for the Rizal Memorial Stadium that became the first football stadium in the Philippines to receive a 2-Star designation, the highest possible rating for an artificial turf. Limonta Sport is a FIFA preferred producer of football pitches.
Earning the FIFA certification was no easy feat. The rigorous measures demand that an artificial turf should be able to closely replicate natural grass. The newly installed Limonta Max S Artificial Turf System is able to do so with material that optimally absorbs pressure, minimizes skin abrasion upon forceful contact, and retains its form over time thanks to its weather-resistant properties.
Track Master, an independent technical assessment committee, conducted and oversaw the laboratory and field test proceedings. The tests gauged the pitch’s playing performance, safety, durability, and quality assurance as part of the FIFA Quality Programme.
“In close partnership with the PSC, E-Sports installed and delivered a pitch that complied with FIFA’s stringent standards for competition-level football matches. We are proud to have worked on such a historic and important project for the Philippine sports community, and look forward to seeing more international games at RMS,” said Audris Romualdez, Managing Director of E-Sports International.
The FIFA 2-Star certification given to the Rizal Memorial Stadium is valid for 12 months, after which the PSC has the option to retest the pitch if it wishes to renew its accreditation.