Dynamo Moscow play Rubin Kazan in the May 9 match at the Central Stadium in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg.© Photo Bid Committee Russia – 2018/2022
MOSCOW, May 2 (RIA Novosti)
The pitch that will host the Russian Cup final later this month is in worthy condition, the Russian Football Union announced Wednesday, denying reports it would cut up too easily and ruin the football.
Dynamo Moscow play Rubin Kazan in the May 9 match at the Central Stadium in the Urals city of Yekaterinburg.
Reports in the Russian media have described the natural grass surface as unplayable, in similar condition to some Russian Premier League grounds earlier this year that earned comparisons to vegetable patches and bombsites.
Some have called for the match to be moved.
"The RFU is surprised at the media reports that the final of the Russian Cup could be relocated from Yekaterinburg to another Russian region," spokesman Nikolai Komarov told RIA Novosti.
"We categorically refute such reports. Moreover, we're sure that the pitch at the Yekaterinburg stadium will be totally ready to hold such an important football event," he said.
New turf was being laid, Komarov said, and attended by Russia's top groundsmen to ensure it would be perfect for the final.
"The lawn is already in fantastic shape, and thanks to the preparation that's being done, the quality will only get better," said local sports minister Leonid Rapoport.
The Central Stadium, home of Russian second-tier side FC Ural, was built in 1957, and after modernization is equipped to host 27,000 fans. It is to undergo refurbishment to hold group stage matches of the 2018 World Cup, if the city wins host status.
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