Uefa have admitted that they are “slightly worried” about the state of the pitch on which tomorrow night’s Champions League final will be played.
The pitch has come under scrutiny after groundsman Matt Frost revealed it had not had sufficient time to bed down following its laying just 15 days ago.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s encounter between Manchester United and Chelsea, Uefa spokesman William Gaillard said: “We are slightly worried about the look of it.
“In terms of the quality, we have made some tests in the last few days and it is perfectly fine.
“It may not look very, very green on television, but, essentially, it is a good pitch to play football on. At this stage, we are confident it will be fine.”
However, Frost said the ball was certain to bobble and that areas of grass had died in transit.
“We’ve done what we can do and it is getting better every day but unfortunately the final is too soon for us,” Frost said. “There are dead patches and it looks like dozens of cricket batting strips in a nice green outfield.”
Frost managed to persuade his stadium bosses to spend £160,000 on a second grass surface after the original surface was found to be bumpy.
“If I hadn’t persuaded them, they would have used the old one which would have been a catastrophe,” he said.
“The transport was difficult and it damaged the turf. I don’t think the grass was stretched out properly.
“It is very difficult to get the turf at short notice. Now we have no quality turf good enough left.
“There are patches that are desiccated, with dead plant material on the surface. There’s no life in it, and there’s no chemical to bring that back to life and you can’t just water it. It’s dead.
“Normally you’d just replace it – in the UK. I’d order the stuff and it would be there in an hour. Here you have to go through customs and regulations and we’ve simply run out of turf and we won’t be able to get it in time now.”