Size matters: dispute brews over soccer field
The province's soccer association said the new field in Portugal Cove-St. Philip's is too small.
Jeff Babstock, chair of the association's technical committee, said he's surprised the Rainbow Gully Field was not built wide enough to accommodate provincial competitions.
Babstock said the field is 55 metres wide, but would need to be 64 metres wide to be used for most national events.
"There were games tentatively scheduled there and I know that because I did the schedule for the nationals — so I know. So when we got the dimensions we said, 'We can't go there,' so we had to rejig the schedule," Babstock said.
The field does allow for national events for children under the age of 12.
Town not fazed
Despite the small size, the town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip's expects to see numerous games and tournaments played on the field.
Jeff Lawlor, communications director with the town, said the size of the pitch was designed to meet FIFA standards for all games other than international competitions.
"FIFA standards are given in ranges, and despite the fact our field falls within an acceptable range for all games other than international play, both the province and the national association's field standards are larger, falling into FIFA's international standard," Lawlor told CBC News.
"Ultimately the length of the field is considered acceptable, but the width is considered 9 metres too narrow. During the planning process, which included input from numerous stakeholders and users, this issue was not brought to light."
Lawlor said the town has sent a letter to both federal and provincial soccer associations requesting that Rainbow Gully Field have a size exemption to allow for provincial and national games.