Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has accused European officials of making light of his concerns over the state of the pitch for their match against Rostov on Thursday.
Mourinho criticised the patchy surface at the Olimp-2 stadium after arriving in Russia on Wednesday, insisting that it was not fit to stage the Europa League last 16, first leg fixture.
The United boss added that his concerns were dismissed when he raised them with an official from governing body Uefa.
“I know that we have to, but it is hard for me to believe we are going to play on that field – if you can call it a field,” said Mourinho.
“I don’t know what team to play, really. I now have a lot to think about because I was expecting something more playable.
“I just had a quick contact with one gentleman from Uefa and when I told him about my concerns, the gentleman just told me: ‘The players are insured. If something happens, no problem.’”
Mata and Rojo on the pitch pic.twitter.com/MyRuDYzpPV— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) March 8, 2017
Mourinho said the state of the pitch might deter him from recalling midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who has not played since suffering a hamstring injury against Saint-Etienne last month.
The former Chelsea manager also complained about the playing surface when United travelled to Ukraine in December to face Zorya Luhansk, who they beat 2-0 in the competition’s group stage.
Rostov sit seventh of 16 teams in Russia’s Premier League but won their last game 6-0 against Tom Tomsk on Friday and inflicted a shock 3-2 defeat on Bayern Munich during the Champions League group stage.
They beat Sparta Prague 4-0 in the home leg of the Europa League last 32, progressing 5-1 on aggregate after a draw in the Czech capital.
United have leading scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic available for both legs against Rostov despite the Swede being handed a three-match ban from domestic competition for elbowing Bournemouth defender Tyrone Mings.