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Mar 29, 2012

Barca complain to UEFA about Milan turf

Barcelona have lodged a formal complaint to UEFA regarding the state of AC Milan's pitch for the clubs' Champions League quarter-final first leg draw.

• Pep: We dominated despite pitch
• Allegri: Draw gives us strength
• UCL: Milan and Barca draw, Bayern win
• Champions League Gallery Photo Gallery

The San Siro surface appeared to cut up easily during Wednesday night's stalemate and Barca coach Pep Guardiola vented his frustrations about the turf, claiming it had stifled his side's usually fluid passing game.

"Milan should take some measures," Guardiola said after the match. "We play where we are told to play, but I do not think that Inter and Milan want a pitch with these conditions.

"It is bad for the spectacle, but to be champions we must overcome all adversities. We have done this many times, although people say otherwise."

Barca took their annoyance a step further on Thursday, revealing they had lobbied UEFA to act over the condition of the pitch.

"FC Barcelona has lodged a complaint with UEFA over the state of the pitch at the Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro) stadium during the Champions League match," the club said on their official website.

The Catalans are not the first to voice their concerns about Milan's playing surface, with Arsene Wenger left angered after Arsenal's 4-0 defeat to the Rossoneri in the last-16 last month.

"It is maybe an easy excuse, but I feel UEFA has a lot to answer for because if you arrive at 7.46pm you get fined, but you can play on a bad pitch and they don't say a word," Wenger said.

"I just feel it is part of the respect for people who pay their money and go to a football game and expect conditions where you can play football. That's what we try to do here and it is unacceptable for UEFA to accept pitches like the one in Milan."

Milan responded to the complaints by issuing a statement insisting the pitch was of an acceptable standard.

The statement on the club's website read: ''With reference to the protest lodged by FC Barcelona regarding the condition of the pitch at the San Siro, AC Milan wishes to communicate that:

''1) The watering of the pitch within an hour before kick-off, as agreed in the organisational meeting yesterday morning, was not done due to the already high levels of humidity of the pitch.

''2) The general state of the pitch, which the Barcelona team trained on the previous evening without any problems, was declared to be acceptable by the referees and the UEFA delegates.''

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