Wembley pitch to be relaid for 11th time

LONDON - A new pitch is to be installed at Wembley Stadium, the 11th since the famous venue re-opened in 2007, the English FA said on Sunday.

"Wembley Stadium can confirm that a new pitch will be installed, with work commencing today," said a statement on the FA website.

"The pitch will be the same type as was used in the latter part of last year. We will continue to refine the installation and maintenance regime to build on the formula that was successful during that period."

The pitch was described as "an absolute disgrace" by Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp after last week's shock FA Cup semi-final defeat by Portsmouth.

It has also been criticised by leading managers including England 's Fabio Capello, Arsenal's Arsene Wenger and Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson.

Wembley has a busy schedule of matches over the next few weeks including the FA Cup final, England's World Cup warm-up against Mexico, and play-off and minor cup finals.

The rock band Green Day are due to play a concert there in June.

The stadium staged a rugby union match on Saturday between Saracens and Harlequins watched by a 47,000 crowd, one of a number of money-raising non-football events the stadium hosts as the FA seeks to pay off the 800 million pounds it cost to build.

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