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Hong Kong Stadium turf pitch reopens for use

     Repair work of the turf pitch of the Hong Kong Stadium is in good progress and it is now ready for use for the 2013-14 football season.

     After 53 days of intensive caring and repair work, the turf pitch of the stadium will be reopened tomorrow (September 21) to host the local match of the First Division League between South China and Kitchee.

     A spokesman for the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) said today (September 20) that the stadium management had implemented a special priority maintenance programme on the stadium during its closure in order to meet the very tight maintenance schedule.

     "To shorten the time for turf establishment, we have transplanted the thick turf sods cutting out from the peripheral turf areas to replace the more seriously damaged areas in the central areas of the playing field.

     "For the less damaged areas, we have adopted more frequent and enhanced cultural practices such as mowing, fertilising and aeration to stimulate turf spreading," he said.

     "Regarding the peripheral areas, where thick turf sods were removed for transplant purpose, we have replenished the bare areas by laying of newly procured sods together with seed sowing. The newly replenished turf may turn yellow in colour in the initial few weeks due to a changing in growing environment from its original location. This is a normal phenomenon. The turf will gradually grow back to its green colour after its roots have established well into the soil of the new environment. The replenished turf will be a source of supplying sods for transplanting purpose for maintaining the stadium turf in the future," the spokesman added.

     The spokesman said the Hong Kong Football Association had inspected the turf pitch condition of the Hong Kong Stadium on September 17 and confirmed that the playing field was up to the standard for hosting First Division soccer matches.

     The Hong Kong Stadium turf pitch was temporary closed since July 30 for immediate repair and maintenance following the International Football Friendly Match between Kitchee and Manchester United.

     To address the maintenance and management issues, the LCSD is conducting a comprehensive review on the stadium turf pitch with a view to formulating short, medium and long term improvement measures.

     An Expert Group on the Hong Kong Stadium Turf Pitch was formed in late August to advise LCSD on the necessary medium and long-term improvement measures.

     The LCSD will make reference to the recommendations on medium and long-term measures to be made by the expert group in enhancing the turf maintenance and management practices for the stadium.

Ends/Friday, September 20, 2013
Issued at HKT 11:22



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