Wembley to meet pitch experts

Wembley officials have called a meeting with pitch experts on

Monday to try to solve the crisis over the playing surface.

The Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) have been asked to a

meeting with stadium chiefs following criticism of the pitch after

last weekend’s FA Cup semi-finals.

The organisation say this may be the start of the process to

find a permanent solution to the situation.

A statement from the IOC said: “The IOG is pleased to have

been invited to a meeting with Wembley Stadium on Monday and hope

it might be the start of finding a long-term solution to the

problems of the playing surface at our national stadium.”

Wembley have admitted the pitch is not up to scratch, and

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned the poor surface could

affect England’s 2018 World Cup bid.

Wenger has branded the pitch “not acceptable” and says the FA

cannot merely continue replacing the turf without going to the root

of the problem.

Experts say to do that, the pitch needs to be dug up

completely and re-done – a process that takes six weeks.

Stadium officials say they will “probably” replace the pitch

again before the FA Cup final – for what would be the 11th time

since the new Wembley opened in 2007.

A decision will be taken following Monday’s meeting, and

after this weekend’s Guinness Premiership rugby union match between

Saracens and Harlequins.