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Page last updated at 14:01 GMT, Monday, 12 April 2010 15:01 UK

Wembley pitch put to the test prior to England arrival

Wembley Stadium
The Wembley pitch was relaid for the 10th time in March

Wembley's much maligned pitch will face a busy few weeks before England's final World Cup warm-up fixture on home soil with Mexico on May 24.

The surface, replaced 10 times since 2007, will host a Guinness Premiership rugby fixture on 17 April.

Chelsea and Portsmouth contest the FA Cup final on 15 May, while the Blue Square Premier play-off final follows the next day.

England play Mexico two days after the Championship play-off final on 22 May.

The Wembley pitch is managed by the Sports Turf Institute, who are employed by Wembley National Stadium Limited, and costs in the region of £100,000 to relay.

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Following Sunday's FA Cup Semi-Final with Portsmouth, the Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp described the surface as "a disgrace, farcical [and] impossible to play on."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson recently spoke of the "heavy" pitch playing its part in striker Michael Owen suffering a season-ending hamstring injury during the 2010 Carling Cup final.

With the number of sporting events taking place between now and 24 May, England manager Fabio Capello will be concerned that increased damage to the Wembley turf could put key members of his World Cup squad at increased risk of injury.




see also
Wembley pitch faces new criticism
11 Apr 10 |  Tottenham
Wembley set for 10th relaid pitch
06 Mar 10 |  Football
Saracens boss defends Wembley use
24 Mar 10 |  Saracens
Milner criticises Wembley pitch
02 Mar 10 |  Football
Bilic critical of Wembley pitch
21 Nov 07 |  Football
Why is the Wembley pitch so poor?
22 Apr 09 |  Magazine
State of Wembley pitch criticised
20 Apr 09 |  England
FA to address Wembley pitch issue
20 Apr 09 |  Football
Wembley Stadium pitch is ripped up
26 Apr 09 |  Sport
Superbowl ruins Wembley turf
30 Oct 07 |  England


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