KUALA LUMPUR: The new Zeon Zoysia pitch at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium here still needs two to three months before it is ready for use, according to the Tunku Mahkota of Johor Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.
The Johor crown prince, who said this on social media platform X, said the pitch, which was upgraded by the same contractor who laid the pitch for the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri, should have been given time for the roots to grow in strength before being used.
“But the national team wanted to use it as soon as possible. That is the decision by FAM (Football Association of Malaysia) and the stadium (management).
“If it was up to me, I would have given it more time,” Tunku Ismail said when replying to a post from an X user who had questioned the condition of the field.
On Thursday, the Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) club owner officiated the opening ceremony of the new pitch, which he had sponsored, in time for the Merdeka Tournament 2023 that kicked off last night.
The Bukit Jalil National Stadium has undergone renovations, including the planting of Zeon Zoysia grass to replace the cow grass pitch in April.
Malaysia defeated India 4-2 last night and will face Tajikistan in the final on Tuesday.
Tajikistan received a “bye” following the last-minute withdrawal of Palestine.