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The pitch at Nelspruit’s newly-built World Cup stadium has had to be re-laid at a cost of some R5-million because of insufficient drainage, officials said on Tuesday.

A new pitch is being laid after contractors stripped the original surface and dug up the clay surface underneath to allow for proper drainage.

The changes had been ordered after a FIFA inspection in November. A rainy spell in Nelspruit had left the new ground waterlogged.

The installation of a new pitch is to be completed by the end of the week, said the city’s World Cup co-ordinator Differ Mogale, according to Kickoff.com.

Plans to open the 46,000-seater Mbombela Stadium with match with a friendly between Ghana and Bosnia-Herzegovina on March 3 are still going ahead, he added.

“The pitch will be ready to play by the end of February,” Mogale said.

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