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FA's Director of Marketing Paul Barber
"It (the pitch) is not acceptable for an FA Cup final as it currently stands"
 real 56k

BBC Sport's Gordon Farquhar
"The pitch, relayed in March for the Worthington Cup final is now in a very poor state."
 real 14k

FA Chief Executive Adam Crozier
"We (the FA) have got no concerns about the state of the pitch"
 real 14k

Tuesday, 24 April, 2001, 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK
Cardiff pitch to be relaid
millennium stadium
The FA is worried more rain could damage turf further
The pitch at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium will be relaid in time for the FA Cup final on 12 May.

The turf at the showcase sports ground has been damaged by recent games and bad weather.

Following a visit from FA officials on Tuesday, concerns were expressed about the condition of the playing surface.

As a result, work to repair the pitch will begin on Thursday and should be completed within three days.

It is important that the surface is right for the players and the watching millions on television
  Paul Newman
The repairs are expected to cost about 100,000, with the bill being footed by Millennium Stadium plc.

A new pitch has already been grown in York and will be flown to Wales in time for Thursday.

FA Head of Communications Paul Newman said: "The pitch will be relaid because of serious damage caused by matches played on it at the weekend and the inclement weather conditions.

"It is important that the surface is right for the players, the fans and the watching millions on television."

Sunday's LDV Vans Trophy final between Port Vale and Brentford left the surface badly cut up - largely because the ground became waterlogged because the retractable roof has been stuck since the Principality Cup semi finals more than a week ago.

The FA was keen to stress that the problems with the pitch were not unique to Cardiff, however.

Crowd control

Many of England's leading club grounds including Anfield and Old Trafford have suffered because of the wet winter.

FA officials also discussed a number of other issues surrounding the Cup final, including transport arrangements and crowd control.

The eyes of the sporting world will be on Cardiff in May when the prestigious final between Liverpool and Arsenal will be held at the stadium - the first time the event has been played away from Wembley since 1922.

WRU chairman Glanmor Griffiths
WRU chairman Glanmor Griffiths saw the FA Cup as a coup for the stadium
The arena has already had its surface relaid once this season, for the Worthington Cup final in February.

The FA has agreed to use the stadium until 2004 as Wembley is being rebuilt.

The Welsh Assembly has given Millennium Stadium Plc and Cardiff County Council 500,000 to help stage the final.

The multi-purpose arena is also used for pop concerts and other events. Turf is laid on individual one metre-squared palettes and can be wheeled in and out of the venue.

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08 Mar 01 |  Wales
Assembly provides FA Cup cash
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