Monday, 28 June 2010

Wembley Stadium's pitch consultants resign

The pitch consultants in charge of the playing surface at Wembley Stadium have resigned.

The news was confirmed on Wednesday after almost constant complaints about the playing surface since it was first laid.

The pitch has performed poorly on almost every major occasion for which it has been used, with recent major finals marred by the players slipping and the surface cutting up far too easily.

The Sports Turf Research Institute (STRI) confirmed that they would be stepping down from the role at the end of June after being responsible for the surface for the last 13 months.

"We have had many constructive and positive discussions with Wembley over the last few weeks on what would be the best way forward to make significant improvements to the pitch," said Gordon MacKillop, chief exective of STRI.

"In relation to this STRI presented an alternative strategy for 2010 to change the construction of the pitch, which Wembley agreed was the best way forward and is now proceeding with this.

"We are pleased that Wembley has adopted our proposed strategy which should see improvements to the pitch during 2010. This new structure of pitch does not require the previous level of research and consultancy from the STRI team and, therefore, we feel it is the right time to resign."

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Wembley Stadium this time history repeats for Germany benefits

The World Cup most bizarre moment carries such significance because of its eerie similarity to a 44 year old memory that has divided the two countries ever since.

In World Cup histior Frank Lampard’s disallowed goal in the 38th minute of unfairness.
Yet German fans will point to the 1966 World Cup final at London’s Wembley Stadium, when England won the trophy by beating West Germany thanks to a hotly disputed goal from Geoff Hurst on a similar play.
So what happened in 1966?
Eleven minutes into extra time and with the score tied at 2-2, Hurst collected Alan Ball’s cross, swiveled and smacked a shot against the crossbar. The ball hit the underside of the bar and bounced downward toward the line.
England players celebrated and after a long consultation with his assistant, Swiss referee Gottfried Dienst awarded the goal. Television footage appeared to show that the ball had not fully crossed the line, as it must do to be allowed. England went on to win 4-2.
Years later, a study conducted by experts from Oxford University concluded that the goal should not have counted. German fans have never forgotten the incident that led to England’s only World Cup victory.
Lampard began his career at West Ham, the same London club where Hurst and several members of the England team played their club soccer.