Playing pitch in Basle stadium to be replaced
Heavy downpours have caused teams to play on waterlogged pitch last week.16 June 2008
BASLE - Europe's governing football body UEFA announced late Sunday that the playing surface of the Basle St. Jakob Park would be replaced.
A group A clash between Switzerland and Turkey was last week played on a waterlogged pitch in the stadium after torrential downpours.
The co-hosts Switzerland beat Portugal 2-0 in their final group A match in the stadium on Sunday.
UEFA general secretary David Taylor said last week after the match between Switzerland and Turkey that they might have to look at replacing the playing surface.
Speaking about the rainy conditions, he said: "Unfortunately it has made an impact on the tournament and we may have to look at laying down a new surface in Basle for the quarter-final."
In a statement released late Sunday, the organisers said that they would replace the pitch.
"Euro 2008 SA has decided - after consultation with pitch experts, the host football associations and UEFA - to replace the playing surface at the St. Jakob Park stadium following the last group phase match between Switzerland and Portugal.
"The existing pitch will be removed overnight Sunday and a new pitch, brought in from the Netherlands in 26 trucks, will be laid as from Monday.
"The new pitch will be ready on 17 June, in time for the first quarter-final on Thursday 19 June between Portugal and the runners-up in group B.
"There are three matches still to be played in Basle, two quarter-finals, on 19 and 21 June, and a semi-final on 25 June."
[dpa / Expatica]