Stadium practice axed at three venues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stadium practice axed at three venues

21/06/2010 05:49:13 AM Comments (0)

FIFA said that canceling training sessions for teams at three of the 10 World Cup stadiums is "normal procedure" at a major tournament to protect pitches.

The United States and Algeria were given 48 hours notice that they cannot practice at Pretoria's Loftus Versfeld on Tuesday.

Chile and Switzerland also were denied permission to train Sunday at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Port Elizabeth.

The decisions were "taken by the technical experts who know best what the conditions of the pitch are like," FIFA said in a statement.

World Cup regulations call for teams to be allowed a 60-minute practice on the eve of a match to familiarise themselves with a new venue.

However, FIFA can cancel sessions in adverse weather or if the playing surface is "not in good condition or the training session would negatively affect" its quality.

Pitch concerns also have affected Soccer City in Johannesburg, with Brazil and Ivory Coast blocked from training there on Saturday.

Soccer City will host the final on July 11, and three other matches after Sunday's Brazil-Ivory Coast match.

"We cannot speculate on what will happen in the coming weeks, or for the final," FIFA said. "Also, we cannot speculate on the reasons for which the pitch can be affected."

Heavy rain in Port Elizabeth caused problems at Nelson Mandela Bay, and kept Germany and Serbia off the pitch ahead of their match last Friday. The venue is scheduled to host five more matches, including the Chile-Switzerland fixture.

Cold night time temperatures have been the biggest weather issue at Johannesburg and Pretoria, which stages three more games.

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