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FIFA GIVES OK TO ARTIFICIAL TURF

Soccer's governing body has cleared way for artificial turf in international play, even for the World Cup.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter said his organization has removed rules banning artificial turf and thinks that will help ease a crowded soccer calendar.

"With artificial surfaces you can play as often as you like," he said. "We have removed any objections to artificial pitches from our statutes, and that includes the World Cup."

Grass fields have always been mandatory for the World Cup. Several teams experimented with artificial turf in the 1980s before FIFA outlawed them.

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