Pitches IN A BAD STATE

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - 18 October 2008, Prof Ronnie Schloss  during the Telkom Knockout match between Ajax Cape Town and Platinum Stars from Athlone Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa.Photo by Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - 18 October 2008, Prof Ronnie Schloss during the Telkom Knockout match between Ajax Cape Town and Platinum Stars from Athlone Stadium in Cape Town, South Africa.Photo by Lefty Shivambu / Gallo Images

A QUANTITY surveyor has been summoned to Bloemfontein to oversee what has become a mini-crisis over the state of the Free State Rugby Stadium's pitch on which forthcoming Confederations Cup soccer matches will be played.

A QUANTITY surveyor has been summoned to Bloemfontein to oversee what has become a mini-crisis over the state of the Free State Rugby Stadium's pitch on which forthcoming Confederations Cup soccer matches will be played.

And PSL Chief Operations Officer Professor Ronnie Schloss, an expert on stadium facilities, is presently involved in damage control over the state of pitches in Bloemfontein and elsewhere that have been roughed up by rugby rumbles.

Schloss would only confirm that recent rugby matches had left the Free State Stadium, Loftus Versfeld and Ellis Park, the three major Confederations Cup venues, in need of attention.

But anyone who witnessed the British Lions and the Free State Cheetahs grovelling on a ground that looked suspiciously below par for rugby - let alone soccer - on Saturday could not but help feel concern over the state of the playing surface for Brazil's silky smooth footballers when they play Egypt in Bloemfontein on Monday.

Ellis Park did not look much better when the British Lions mauled the Golden Lions last week and turned the pitch into a burial ground of local aspirations and Loftus has had a surfeit of rugby as well as the Blue Bulls continued to plunder all opposition in the Super 14 competition.

Instant replanting of pitches will be "as good as new" in a matter of four days has been mooted as the solution.

But Schloss looked far from at ease as he surveyed the damage.

And had he been examining a ground for a routine PSL game, he might have declared it not fit for play. - Sapa

X