What the National Stadium should learn from Rajamangala Stadium on pitch management

FOOTBALL pitches hold immense importance, serving as platforms for footballers to showcase their skills and for fans to witness moments of glory. The National Stadium in Bukit Jalil stands as an iconic venue for sports and entertainment, but its pitch has often been a subject of criticism and concern.

The stadium's multi-purpose nature comes at a cost.

The transition between hosting football matches and non-sporting events like concerts takes a toll on the grass pitch.

Footballers and coaches have voiced their disappointment over the pitch condition and raised concerns over the increased risk of injuries and the quality of football played.

The Regent of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, "sponsored" the new Zeon Zoysia pitch, worth RM1.5 million, but it has not solved the problem.

It was reported that the contractor for the pitch has a one-year maintenance agreement, which includes keeping it damage-free when other events like concerts are hosted at the stadium.

However, viral photos of the pitch in "poor condition" with brown patches were circulated on social media following Ed Sheeran's concert on Feb 24.

The uncertainty surrounding the pitch's quality saw both Oman and Malaysia barred from using the pitch at National Stadium for their official training session on Monday ahead of their World Cup Group D qualifier tonight.

Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh tweeted that the decision was made by a Fifa match commissioner due to Malaysia's current weather, which sees rain in the evenings.

The management of the National Stadium should take cues from their Rajamangala Stadium counterparts, who returfed the pitch after hosting the Coldplay concert in February.

The stadium, located in Bangkok, is now ready to host their World Cup qualifier against South Korea today.

Punta Turf Care, which manages the Rajamangala Stadium, has been updating the condition of the new pitch on social media, and it has been a hit with fans in the region.

Prominent Thai football account @ThaiFootballs shared pictures, which generated 215,000 views on X since March 24.

Several Malaysians responded:

@therealejump tweeted that Malaysia should learn from Thailand.

@adibamzarr tweeted, "Malaysia could only dream".

It was only last year that the pitch condition at the Rajamangala Stadium caused an uproar after Tottenham's friendly against Leicester City was called off due to a waterlogged pitch following torrential downpour on July 23.

The secret to Rajamangala Stadium's success lies in its management's unwavering commitment to pitch maintenance.

While the National Stadium grapples with the persistent challenge of maintaining a quality pitch, the Rajamangala Stadium sets a shining example of what can be achieved through undivided dedication to pitch management.

As stakeholders strive to address the shortcomings of the National Stadium's pitch, they can draw inspiration from the success story of Rajamangala Stadium.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories