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Ousmane Dembele injury not caused by standard of Getafe pitch - president

With Ousmane Dembele set to miss three to four months, the FC crew assess the impact his injury will have on Barcelona.

Getafe president Angel Torres has rejected claims that the pitch at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium contributed to Ousmane Dembele's serious injury.

Dembele, whom Barcelona bought for an initial €105 million last month from Borussia Dortmund, was forced off the pitch in the 25th minute of the visitors' 2-1 win at Getafe on Saturday after rupturing a tendon in his thigh.

He will undergo surgery in Finland this week and is expected to be sidelined for up to four months while some Barca officials and players reportedly complained the pitch was not in good condition.

"The pitch was in perfect condition and we complied with the parameters that La Liga demands," Torres told Onda Cero radio.

"There is no justification for the comments made by some. Our pitch is new and even the Liga delegate congratulated us with respect to the new pitch. The measurement of the grass was 29mm, the maximum permitted is 30mm and the minimum is 20mm."

Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was highly critical, telling Marca: "Let's talk about the pitch first, it was pretty bad. I have to say it because if this is the only way they [rivals] can hurt us..."

Ousmane Dembele was making only his third appearance for Barcelona.

Coach Ernesto Valverde, however, refused to blame the playing surface: "I would love for all the pitches to be in similar condition, they would be favourable for the game."

And Torres was pleased that Valverde, at least, did not try to make excuses for Dembele's long injury layoff.

"I take my hat off to Barcelona's coach because after what he said, there is nothing else to add," Torres said. "People shouldn't find excuses.

"Our players were running and some of the ones that were criticising it [the pitch] were walking, that was the difference. You cannot blame a new pitch. I'm saddened that Dembele got injured and I wish him a speedy recovery."

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.


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