LE SCAN SPORT – Before the match against the Blues on Friday evening in Vienna, the Austrian federation had to manage an unprecedented lawn problem, which was damaged.
Ubuesque. And a sequence that made the rounds of social networks. A deep hole in the lawn of the Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna, spotted Monday during Austria-Denmark, led the Austrian authorities to examine the lawn meticulously and to call a meeting before receiving France on Friday, learned the AFP with the local federation.
The TV images are impressive: after the final whistle of Austria-Denmark (1-2) on Monday evening, the Danish players railed with the organizers in the face of a huge hole observed in the central circle, sinking their legs at least 30 centimeters in the ground. “I don’t know what’s going on with this stadium of amateurs“Launched Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg after the meeting, in remarks reported by the press.
Challenged by this situation, the Austrian federation has been working since Tuesday to repair the defects of its lawn. “The ground is being examined with X-rays with a special device to see if other cavities may appear“, told AFP a spokesperson for the Federation. After a “meeting between UEFA (organizer of the League of Nations), the federation and the stadium services“, the League of Nations match between Austria and France, Friday (8:45 p.m.) in Vienna, was finally maintained. “UEFA have given their approval for Friday’s game”in accordance with the recommendations of an independent expert report, said the Federation.
Heavy rain in Vienna in recent days
The explanation for the formation of such a hole “is currently being surveyed, but it is likely that there has been a significant rise in the groundwater level of the nearby Danube, caused by the heavy rains observed overnight from Sunday to Monday“, we said from the same source. “The waters exerted upward pressure on the lawn causing a cavity to form, resulting in a hole.The federation also announced that 1,000 square meters of pitch will be provided by stadium services, “in the event that the top layer of turf needs to be changed quicklyif new holes were detected. “The lower layer has been densifiedusing a roller machine, she also adds.
On Tuesday, the president of the federation Bernhard Neuhold told the local press that he could not, for the time being, “affirm that there is no other danger». «There can always be scenarios that could lead to a match being canceled“, he added. On Monday evening, Austria also faced a major power outage in its stadium, delaying kick-off by an hour and a half. “The outage affected neighboring districts of Vienna and was caused by faulty power lines. Technicians say heavy rain on Sunday caused the problem“, said the Austrian federation to AFP. Rain is still forecast for Vienna for Thursday and Friday.
Stage of the Euro-2008 final, the Ernst-Happel-Stadion will be sold out for the reception of the French world champions, with up to 44,800 spectators expected during this meeting counting for the 3rd day of the League of nations.