KRAKOW (Poland): Yesterday’s UEFA Cup match between Wisla Krakow and Lazio has been postponed because of an icy pitch, UEFA have confirmed in a statement.
The match will now be played next Tuesday or Wednesday, a move which angered the Polish club, who accused UEFA of favouring warmer-climate footballing nations like Italy.
The eagerly-awaited game, following last week’s 3-3 draw between the sides in the first leg in Rome, was delayed after Lazio complained at the state of the pitch following a training session on Wednesday night.
“After having examined the pitch thoroughly with the referees, we have decided that there will be no match tonight,” Tryrwe Borno, the UEFA delegate to the match, told reporters.
“The reason is that the pitch is not safe for the security of the players. It is frozen.”
The Krakow pitch was covered by snow and ice this week before a massive cleanup effort. The pitch looked yellow after sand and salt were sprayed on the field from a tractor.
UEFA officials had declared the pitch fit on Wednesday, but that was before the training session, which took place after temperatures dipped below zero and the ground hardened.
“Lazio was not happy with the pitch. In our opinion the game could have been played,” said Wisla president Bogdan Basalaj.
Hundreds of Wisla fans, many who had turned up early to the sold-out 17,000-seat stadium, screamed obscenities at officials from the Italian club as they left the ground. – Reuters