THE Malaysia Stadium Corporation will close the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil for six months from October for returfing work, Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said yesterday.Khairy said he had taken a look at the condition of the playing field at the stadium and found it needed to be returfed.
"The grass condition is not of international standard," he said after inspecting the stadium and visiting the National Athletes Welfare Foundation's (Yakeb) premises.
He said the returfing work needed to be done because the National Stadium was the nation's pride and not a "second or third choice stadium."
He also drew attention to the fact that international clubs that had played at the stadium had commented on the pitch condition.
Khairy said he had also asked the corporation to reduce non-sports related activities at the National Stadium and that this would be done in stages.
The corporation's chairman Datuk Jamil Salleh said the tender for the returfing work would be issued in August or early September and that the cost would depend on the grass to be used.
"We will not be changing to a synthetic turf," he said, adding that six months was enough for the returfing work.
Jamil said all sporting activities, including the Malaysia Cup final, could be still be held at the stadium until the end of September.
The stadium, which was opened in 1998 when Malaysia hosted the Commonwealth Games, has seen the field returfed twice, in April 2005 when the Bermuda type of grass was changed to the 'Marimo Paspalum' type and in November 2006 in preparing to host the Asian Cup football championship in July 2007. Bernama
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