UEFA ‘closely monitoring’ Wembley pitch for Spurs-PSV clash

Tottenham play their home games at Wembley Stadium. (AFP pic)

LONDON: European football’s governing body UEFA said it is keeping a close eye on the playing conditions at Wembley Stadium for Tottenham Hotspur’s upcoming Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven.

Repeated delays to Spurs’ new stadium have meant they have had to play additional matches at Wembley amid other sporting events already booked in at England’s major arena.

Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat by Manchester City in the Premier League on Monday came a day after an NFL match on the same pitch between the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Philadelphia Eagles.

The playing surface retained significant and visible wear and tear as well as gridiron line markings from the NFL event, and UEFA said it was concerned with making sure the conditions were safe for the Champions League Group B match.

“UEFA is closely monitoring the situation at the Wembley Stadium and working together with the Club, The Football Association and the management of the stadium, to guarantee safe playing conditions for the upcoming UEFA Champions League match,” the body said in an email to Reuters.

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola was critical of the pitch on Monday, blaming it for errors from both sides.

Both Tottenham and PSV need to win next week to have any realistic hope of reaching the last 16 of the Champions League.

Tottenham were originally due to move into their new 62,000-seater stadium in August but the opening has repeatedly pushed back. Last week, the London club announced the opening would not be until 2019.

They are in their second season playing at Wembley, having moved out of their White Hart Lane ground in May 2017.