Nelspruit pitch relaid due to poor drainage

JOHANNESBURG - The pitch at Nelspruit's new World Cup stadium has been relaid for 5 million rand ($688,000) due to insufficient drainage, officials said on Tuesday.

The pitch at the 46,000-seater Mbombela Stadium is being replaced after contractors stripped the original and dug up the clay surface underneath to allow proper drainage.

The changes were ordered after an inspection by football's world governing body FIFA in November.

A rainy spell in Nelspruit had left the new ground waterlogged.

The installation of a new pitch will be completed this week, said the city's World Cup co-ordinator Differ Mogale.

Plans to open the stadium with a friendly between Ghana and Bosnia-Herzegovina on March 3 are still going ahead, he added.

"The pitch will be ready to play (on) by the end of February," Mogale told Reuters.