stadium shocker

STRANGE: Mpumalanga's 2010 World Cup Stadium, Mbombela, had its entire lawn removed after authorities realised that it was laid on a clay soil. Pic : Alfred Moselakgomo. 06/12/2009. © Sowetan.
STRANGE: Mpumalanga's 2010 World Cup Stadium, Mbombela, had its entire lawn removed after authorities realised that it was laid on a clay soil. Pic : Alfred Moselakgomo. 06/12/2009. © Sowetan.

MPUMALANGA'S 2010 World Cup Stadium, Mbombela, had its entire lawn removed after authorities realised it was laid on wrong soil.

MPUMALANGA'S 2010 World Cup Stadium, Mbombela, had its entire lawn removed after authorities realised it was laid on wrong soil.

But authorities are tight-lipped as to how much more this has cost the province.

Provincial 2010 spokesperson Ronny Moyo saidyesterday that though the clay soil which was used was not "that bad", his office could not run a risk of having the stadium flooded in the event that it rained during the World Cup.

He said about 25 percent of the turf supplied had been grown in clay and this had disturbed the drainage.

This has resulted in the much anticipated match between Orlando Pirates and Mpumalanga Black Aces, which was to be used to test the stadium before the scheduled handover to Fifa next May, being cancelled.

All other build-up events that were scheduled for this month to test the operational systems have, therefore, been moved to other places or postponed.

These include the Joyous Celebrations concert this weekend, a friendly between Black Aces and Pirates on Saturday, and the game between Banyana Banyana and Germany which took place on Sunday at Lowveld High School.

The provincial cabinet was told two weeks ago that the stadium was 99percent complete.

James Gibb, acting deputy director general in the office of the premier, said funding shortfalls had been addressed, but due to Fifa's strict compliance requirements, the pitch had to be removed and relaid.

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