It was otherwise planned for a historic evening at the end of May, where the annual Champions League final was set to its climax. One of the world's most televised events. But in between, a number of incidents occurred, such as the ubiquitous COVID-19 and a military tribute during an official UEFA international match between France and Albania, in which several Turkish players were the subject of a UEFA investigation. The final in Istanbul was canceled with the corona crisis, as a convenient reason. But before the cancellation, increasing pressure had been established from several sides, including from the official Italian government pictured by the Minister of Sports Vincenzo Spadafora.

Corona or not. The final was moved

Was corona, then, the REAL reason why the final in the Turkish capital was canceled and moved to Lisbon? The answer is blowing in the wind and we are hardly getting the definitive truth about the move so far – if ever. According to CBS, the Associated Press has tried to roll up the case, which began way back in October last year. If you want to read more about exactly that angle, you can do so in these three articles hér , here and hér , where the corona crisis was the final, official reason for the final being moved and ending in Lisbon.

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From Footballogy.net's point of view, however, the interesting story was completely different, namely the technological perspective.

Good for TV. Good for the feet

The carpet under the feet of the finalists should be the completely new lawn with the revolutionary hybrid grass from artificial turf producer Hatko . Not only for TV viewers, the hybrid grass is delicious to watch. There should also be more benefits for the players' own legwear, as the load should not be as violent as even on ordinary grass pitches. Preparations for the course had been going on for months. The annoyance must therefore have been enormous, not least for the Turkish artificial turf producer, when rumors began to swirl around a new venue for the Champions League final in May.

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Artificial grass of the hybrid variant from Turkish Hatko Sport. Photo: PR

Let's already now reveal that the great work, after all, has not been wasted. Although UEFA officially announced on May 30 that the final had been canceled due to the corona pandemic, the relief was great when it became clear a few months later that next year's Champions League final 2021 will be held at the Turkish National Stadium.

INFO ABOUT HYBRID GRASS
· A combination of artificial grass and ordinary grass.
· Built up in several layers with the artificial grass as a kind of binding foundation in the middle.
· The soil is at the bottom, while layers of grass straw at the top grow in through the middle layer.
· This ensures an even and beautiful pitch at all times of the year.
· Supplied in rolls which so easily rolled out and making it easy to replace individual areas

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The hybrid grass is build up from several layers and, according to the manufacturer, puts less strain on the football player's legwear than under ‘normal’ circumstances. Among other things, due to the fact that the soil surface does not 'yield' in the same way as on an ordinary lawn. Photo: PR.

So far so good, because it was truly breaking news that hybrid grass would be the field for this year's planned finale. The hybrid grass is now the new standard, licensed by FIFA, among others.

Several manufactures of hybrid grass

A few handfuls of maufacturers around the world produce this new generation of artificial grass, which, as the name suggests, is a blend of art and real grass. See how the hybrid lawn was laid out in Istanbul in just three minutes in the video below.

Watch how the new hybrid lawn was laid out at Istanbul's Atatürk Olympic Stadium. Video: Hatko Sports YouTube channel.

Today, there are several kinds of artificial grass, where hybrid grass is the latest shot on the trunk. A small two-digit manufacturers around the world are at the forefront when it comes to the development of artificial turf in this category. But we have to wait until 2021 to experience how the hybrid lawn will look and how it will be received by most of all, the players!

Until then, have fun with the Champions League final 2020 in Lisbon, Friday night. You can follow the tournament from UEFA's official site, here.

Sources: UEFA.com, CBSsports.com, thestadiumbusiness.com, hatkosport.com

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