Emirates Palace to build FIFA Club World Cup pitch

Full-sized field for training ready by November

Barcelona are one of the teams that will play in Abu Dhabi in December
Barcelona are one of the teams that will play in Abu Dhabi in December

The Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009 has announced that work has begun on a full-size football pitch at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.

The full sized pitch will be completed in time for the tournament, which takes place in December, and will serve as one of eight official training grounds. It will remain a permanent feature of the hotel and will be utilised as a warm weather training facility for professional sports teams from around the world.

“[Emirates Palace has] committed to build an excellent facility that will be used well into the future and will become an important piece of the infrastructure legacy that the FIFA Club World Cup leaves behind for the UAE,” said UAE Football Association president Mohammed Khalfan Al-Rumaithi.

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Excavation work on the immediate pitch area began this week, and will be followed by the fitting of a high tech drainage and irrigation system, the addition of layers of special gravel and sand, cultivation of the soil and finally the planting of grass through an advanced hydraulic system known as 'hydro sprigging'. The pitch will then be developed and maintained daily, so it is ready for play by November.

“With the addition of a professional quality pitch on our grounds, we will be able to offer something no other property in the Middle East can,” said Emirates Palace general manager Hans Olbertz.

The FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009 takes place December 9-19 in Abu Dhabi.

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