FIFA originally launched its FIFA Quality Concept in February 2001. UEFA announced that starting from the 2005–06 season, approved artificial surfaces were to be permitted in their competitions.
Regardless of the views of the governing bodies, criticism of artificial surfaces in soccer continues, notably in reference to the FieldTurf surface at Toronto F.C.'s BMO Field (replaced with grass in 2010) and Giants Stadium, former home of New York Red Bulls. Current and former players have recently criticised the surface, expressing concerns that, among other things, it may exacerbate injuries.
A full international fixture for the 2008 European Championships was played on 17 October 2007 between England and Russia on an artificial surface, which was installed to counteract adverse weather conditions, at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. It was one of the first full international games to be played on such a surface approved by both FIFA and UEFA. However UEFA ordered that the 2008 European Champions League final hosted in the same stadium in May 2008 must take place on grass, so a temporary natural grass field was installed just for the final. UEFA stressed that artificial turf should only be considered an option where climatic conditions necessitate. One Desso "hybrid grass" product incorporates both natural grass and artificial elements.
In June 2009, following a match played at Estadio Ricardo Saprissa in Costa Rica, American national team manager Bob Bradley called on FIFA to "have some courage" and ban artificial surfaces.
FIFA designated a star system for artificial turf fields that have undergone a series of tests that examine quality and performance based on a two star system. Recommended 2-Star fields may be used for FIFA Final Round Competitions as well as for UEFA Europa League and Champions League matches. There are currently 130 FIFA Recommended 2-Star installations in the world.
In 2009, FIFA launched the FIFA Preferred Producer Initiative to improve the quality of artificial football turf at each stage of the life cycle (manufacturing, installation and maintenance). Currently, there are five manufacturers that were selected by FIFA including Act Global, Limonta, Desso, GreenFields and Edel Grass. These firms have made quality guarantees directly to FIFA and have agreed to increased research and development.
The needs of artificial turf are growing high in Southeast Asia, especially Indonesia and Thailand. Many brands are developing their products. Indonesia is a big country whose people are very interested in Soccer. Unfortunately they lack space. This is why the growth of futsal and indoor soccer center is increasing rapidly.
In November 2011, it was reported that a number of English football clubs are interested in using artificial pitches again on economic grounds.