Patchy pitch for AFCON final

2013-02-10 15:18
National Stadium (AP)

Johannesburg - The playing surface at the National Stadium appeared sandy and dry in patches, just hours before kickoff of the Africa Cup of Nations final between Nigeria and Burkina Faso on Sunday.

American rock band the Red Hot Chili Peppers performed at the arena last weekend, and the area where the stage had stood was still patchy.

The other half of the field was in much better condition, with good green coverage.

Stadium Management South Africa (SMSA) had said on Wednesday that the surface would be ready for the final.

"We are 100 percent comfortable the pitch conforms 100 percent to FIFA regulations. I still believe it's one of the better pitches in the country at the moment," said SMSA chief executive Jacques Grobbelaar.

Grobbelaar had explained the field was 50 percent synthetic.

"We decided to rip out the pitch in the middle of December last year. We installed a brand new 50 percent artificial pitch."

The stadium owners had been criticised for the state of the surface during the Soweto derby clash between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs in December, just days after a Lady Gaga concert.

There had also been complaints by players and coaches concerning the state of the Mbombela Stadium pitch in Nelspruit, which hosted eight matches in the AFCON tournament.

Read more on:    afcon  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk


Bafana Bafana have been drawn with Cameroon, Gambia and Mauritania in the qualification stages for the 2017 AFCON tournament. Where will Shakes Mashaba's men finish in their pool?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.