“I can honestly say that the pitch turned out to be one of the best, if not the best one we had. After a match there were hardly any marks on it”
Derek Blanckensee, 2010 FIFA World CupTM Organising Committee South Africa
In 2010, for the first time in history, a FIFA World Cup™ has been played on hybrid natural grass pitches. The Desso GrassMaster system has been installed at the stadiums in Nelspruit (Mbombela) and Polokwane (Peter Mokaba).
With this type of hybrid pitch, the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ had a perfect pitch throughout the tournament. “Having studied the performance of the pitches in the previous world cup tournaments, we were concerned that the WC2010 pitches would start to deteriorate before the last game. We were extremely relieved that the Desso reinforced Mbombela pitch seemed to get better and better with each training session and match”, says Neil Fourie from Platinum Sport Consulting Ltd, who installed the pitches.
Derek Blanckensee, Chief Competitions Officer at the 2010 FIFA World CupTM Organising Committee South Africa: “Our pitch in Nelspruit was initially one of the most problematic in the tournament, having to be rebuilt three times. On the last occasion the stadium management decided to install Desso Grassmaster. I can honestly say that the pitch turned out to be one of the best, if not the best one we had. After a match there were hardly any marks on it, to the extent that you could have played another match immediately. The stability provided by Desso GrassMaster was amazing.”
The future of the stadiums looks promising with a long legacy ahead. Neil Fourie: “A month after the World Cup we played the first Rugby tournament on the Mbombela pitch. Even after all seven matches, the pitch was still in perfect condition.” Besides sports games, the Mbombela stadium plays host to events and pop concerts, such as the Metro FM Music Awards.
Also the Peter Mokaba Stadium in South Africa is equipped with Desso GrassMaster and hosted 2010 FIFA World Cup™ matches.