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Wembley pitch to be dug up
24 Apr 2009 - 16:54:18
The FA has announced that the controversial Wembley pitch will be dug up immediately and replaced with a new surface.
The news comes after the state of the pitch was criticised after last weekend's FA Cup semi-finals between Everton and Manchester United, and Chelsea against Arsenal.
Earlier in the week the FA accepted that the much-maligned playing surface required improvement after Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger had been scathing of the conditions underfoot at the national stadium.
Wenger branded the pitch 'laughable' while Ferguson called it 'dead' and claimed he had altered his starting line-up to avoid key players picking up injuries at a vital point of the season.
The pitch has been re-laid five times in the two years since the new £750million stadium opened and the FA has conceded they have yet to get it right.
A statement on the FA's official website read: "Wembley Stadium has this week conducted a thorough review of its playing surface, subsurface conditions and pitch maintenance programme.
"As a result of this review which followed Monday's press statement, it has been decided to bring forward the replacement of the existing pitch and the layer underneath the pitch.
"The replacement pitch will be from a new turf nursery and will be of a different composition that is better suited to Wembley Stadium's unique environment.
"The next event at Wembley Stadium is the FA Trophy Final between Stevenage Borough and York City on Saturday 9 May.
"Wembley Stadium is a multi-purpose venue and needs to be able to offer both a quality playing surface and a quality calendar of events. The pitch has always been and will continue to be at the heart of the stadium and of the business."