To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK
Advert
Advert
Advert

Neymar has been left stunned by 'makeshift' pitch Al Hilal set to play on

Josh Lawless

Published 
| Last updated 

Neymar has been left stunned by 'makeshift' pitch Al Hilal set to play on

Neymar has been left in disbelief by footage of what appears to be a makeshift pitch that he and his Al Hilal teammates are set to play on.

Al Hilal return to action on Tuesday evening as they take on Iranian side Nassaji Mazandaran in the AFC Champions League at the Azadi Stadium.

It's the second clash in Group D for Jorge Jesus' side after they drew 1-1 with Navbahor of Uzbekistan.

Loading…

Advert

But there are serious concerns for the playing surface. Days before the game, footage emerged of concrete being exposed while final bits of thin turf are laid over it by ground staff wearing casual clothing.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

The video was shared online by @ActuSPL and racked up over 3 million views. Neymar, who has signed for Al Hilal in a £78 million move from Paris Saint-Germain, came across it and couldn't help but react.

The Brazilian replied, "This is not possible," alongside face palm and laughing emojis. Neymar missed a penalty in his last outing for his club, though it didn't matter too much as Al Hilal went on to win 2-0 courtesy of goals from Kalidou Koulibaly and Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Advert

It's worth noting Al Hilal did train on the pitch on Monday.

Image: Getty
Image: Getty

The game is slated for a 5pm kick-off but there has already been one incident where a fixture between sides from Iran and Saudi Arabia was not fulfilled.

Al Ittihad, who have Karim Benzema, N'Golo Kante and Fabinho in their ranks, refused to play against Sepahan at the Naghsh-e-Jahan Stadium because of the presence of a statue depicting an assassinated Iranian general who was classed as a terrorist by Saudi authorities in 2018.

Advert

The bust of Qasem Soleimani, once the second-most powerful man in Iran before he was killed by a US drone strike near Baghdad Airport, was placed near the entrance of the pitch and prompted fury from Al Ittihad players, who could be punished.

Although they warmed up on the pitch of the 60,000 capacity arena and trained the day previous where the statue was there, they staged a walkout and the game was subsequently abandoned.

The AFC issued a statement, stating: "The AFC reiterates its commitment towards ensuring the safety and security of the players, match officials, spectators, and all stakeholders involved."

Until Cristiano Ronaldo's Al Nassr played Persepolis last month, Saudi teams did not play in Iran for eight years after ties between the two countries were severed following on from a 2016 incident where a group of Iranian militiamen part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran, the capital.

Featured Image Credit: Getty & X/@ActuSPL

Topics: Neymar, Saudi Arabia, Saudi Pro League

Josh Lawless
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Football

Nottingham Forest send out Mark Clattenburg to explain why owner is 'upset' with late decision vs Liverpool

8 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Jeremy Clarkson's gridwalk interview with Martin Brundle before Bahrain GP has got F1 fans talking

14 hours ago