Dutch top-tier captains want no more artificial turf games

In this Sept. 15m 2016 file photo Feyenoord's team captain Dirk Kuyt applauds the supporters at the end of the Group A Europa League ma

AMSTERDAM (AP) — Captains of 12 Netherlands top-tier teams have asked the national soccer federation and league organizers to ban matches on artificial turf.

Dirk Kuyt of title-winning Feyenoord and Davy Klaassen of Ajax joined a protest by their national union known as the VVCS.

Kuyt, who announced his retirement this week, says: "I know for sure that due to artificial pitches Dutch football will fall further behind."

The captains point to "technical and tactical consequences" of authorities letting six of the 18-team Eredivisie play on artificial surfaces this season.

Players believe they sustain more joint injuries and need more recovery time in switching from games on grass.

Klaassen, who will lead Ajax against Manchester United in the Europa League final next Wednesday, says: "You cannot enjoy playing football on these pitches."