Mexico stripped of sole 2018 NFL International Series game over concerns with Azteca Stadium pitch

Malik Ouzia
The Azteca Stadium, Mexico: AP

The final game of the NFL's 2018 International Series, which featured three London games, has been moved back to the USA because of poor field conditions.

Following three matches at Wembley Stadium last month, the Los Angeles Rams were due to meet the Kansas City Chiefs in Mexico City next Monday, concluding a run of four games played outside of America this season.

However, the NFL announced on Tuesday that the game will now take place at the Rams' Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, after a pitch inspection at the Azteca Stadium showed the playing surface did not "meet NFL standard for playability and consistency and will not meet those standards by next Monday."

Reports on Tuesday claimed that several players had threatened to sit out the game because of concerns the pitch would increase the risk of injury.

"The combination of a difficult rainy season and a heavy multi-event calendar of events at the stadium, have resulted in significant damage to the field that presents unnecessary risks to player safety and makes it unsuitable to host an NFL game," added Mark Waller, the NFL's Executive Vice President of International.

There was controversy over the state of the Wembley pitch when Tottenham hosted Manchester City last month, just 24 hours after the Eagles vs Jaguars NFL game

The Azteca had hosted games in each of the previous two seasons, and has a deal in place to host at least one match per year until 2021.