Polish Football Federation: Italy blocked Spain's request to water Gdansk Arena pitch

Vicente Del Bosque's men were left enraged by the state of the playing surface after their 1-1 draw with the Azzurri, with Andres Iniesta describing it as 'a disaster'
Polish Football Federation (PZPN) president Grzegorz Lato has defended the pitch at the Gdansk Arena, claiming it was in "perfect" condition for Spain's meeting with Italy, but revealed that it was not watered beforehand because the Azzurri were against doing so.

Andres Iniesta labelled the surface "a disaster", while his Barcelona team-mate Cesc Fabregas claimed it was "shameful" that the reigning world and European champions had been forced to play on such a dry field.

Lato has now hit back, claiming that the pitch itself was impeccable, but explained that Italy had refused Spain's request to water it before kick-off.

"The grass height was perfect," the PZPN supremo told TOK FM. "Usually the field is watered before the game, but for this you need the agreement of the two teams. Spain wanted [it done], but Italy were opposed to it being watered.

"The Italians knew that dry grass, which is slower, was the best tactic for them. And if there is no agreement between the two teams then it is not irrigated, regardless of whether Real Madrid or Barcelona water their pitches two hours before every game."

Antonio Di Natale opened the scoring for the Azzurri, but Cesc Fabregas posted an almost immediate riposte as La Roja secured a hard-earned draw.