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Sport
Bad pitch necessitates move of PSL match

The Cape Town Stadium pitch will not be ready in time for the Stellenbosch Football Club’s (SFC) second match in the Premier division against CTC FC this coming Saturday, 10 August. The match has been moved to the Athlone Stadium.

A traction test was conducted on the Cape Town Stadium pitch, and it was found that the pitch is not yet ready, following major corrective maintenance carried out over the last few months.

This maintenance forms part of a three-year cycle to ensure a world-class pitch.

“It is important to note the Cape Town Stadium hosted 36 events during the 2018-’19 season,” said the City’s CEO for the Cape Town Stadium, Lesley de Reuck. “In this time the pitch became compacted and slippery, hence the necessity for corrective maintenance.”

The maintenance process started on 20 May this year, given that the period between mid-May to mid-August is traditionally quiet. The top 15 mm of the pitch was removed and a sand layer was brought in, compacted lightly and laser-levelled.

It was found that additional Netlon, a subsurface netting that contributes to the stability of the pitch, also had to be added. The pitch was then fumigated and had to lay dormant for 21 days before the grass could be sowed.

Owing to three cold fronts in Cape Town over the last three weeks and subsequent lower-than-average temperatures, the stadium has been running growing lights 24/7 as well as adapting its fertilising programme with the aim to fast-track growth to the grass.

“We gave it as much time as possible as we wanted the grass to grow and strengthen,” said De Reuck. “Unfortunately, the grass has not knitted sufficiently and can pose a danger to the players. The difficult decision was then made to move the match to the Athlone Stadium.”

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