10 June 2013

National Stadium to be closed for six months

Khairy Jamaluddin inspecting the Bukit Jalil National Stadium pitch during his visit to the arena this morning.
FINALLY, they will be doing something about the atrocious condition of the field at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Towards that end, the stadium will be closed for six months starting from October.
Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who visited the facility this afternoon, said the pitch was an ‘embarrassment’ to Malaysia, and that the Malaysia Stadium Corporation (MSC) should be more stringent about allowing non-football activities on the pitch.
Khairy also announced a six-month overhaul on the pitch starting October to meet international standards.
“It’s an embarrassment. This is not our second or third stadium but our main stadium. It is supposed be an icon,” said Khairy.
“The field is not up to international standards and having seen it today, in addition to feedback from football fans, the stadium will be closed in October for approximately six months. This is the best time for a complete overhaul of the pitch.
“I don’t think the field condition has discouraged foreign teams wanting to play in Malaysia but it may affect our reputation. When Brazil and even Chelsea played here, they were very critical because it could have caused injuries.”
The National Stadium will host the FA Cup final between Johor Darul Takzim and Kelantan later this month and possibly the Malaysia Cup final in October.
The 90,000-capacity would also host the much-awaited Barcelona-Malaysian Selection clash on Aug 10.
Last year, the Malaysia Cup final was played at the Shah Alam Stadium, after several non-football activities damaged up to 70 per cent of the National Stadium field.
National forward Safee Sali had also criticised the pitch during the AFF Suzuki Cup after Malaysia’s 4-1 win over Laos.
“We need to reevaluate the position of non-sports related activities. This is not to say we need to impose a blanket ban but MSC should review events such as concerts and even government-linked events.
“We have to make sure that whoever uses the field does not damage it,” insisted Khairy.
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