Is the Wembley pitch a World Cup liability?

Over the next six weeks Wembley will host a rugby match, the FA Cup Final, play-off games and an England warm up friendly days before the squad fly to South Africa. Given the current state of the pitch, is this an accident waiting to happen?

Latest reports say the FA will decide whether to replace the surface for the 10th time after this weekend.

The announcement follows severe criticism of the pitch during and after the FA Cup semi finals.

Managers Harry Redknapp and Avram Grant pulled no punches in their assessment of the pitch after Sunday's Spurs - Portsmouth clash.

Intriguingly, Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill put the problems down to an over watered pitch. He didn't have much of a problem with the surface.

Whatever the reason, the consensus is that something needs to be done, which is why I was hoping for a more credible response from the FA than this:

"We accept and understand the frustrations around the standard of the pitch at Wembley for last weekend’s FA Cup Semi-Finals.

"The problems faced on Saturday were due to the way the surface was prepared and the measures used overnight were unable to resolve the situation sufficiently for the match on Sunday.

"There is a unique challenge with the surface at Wembley and we are working with expert pitch consultants to get it right. Wembley Stadium is a multi-purpose venue and we have to hold other events as part of the business plan, which means regular pitch replacements each year.

"Football is the number one priority and we understand we have to find a way to deliver and sustain a consistent quality pitch and replicate the successful formula that we developed in the second half of last year.

"We are currently reviewing all options to provide the best surface for the busy period going forward, including a probable pitch replacement. We will make this decision after the weekend."

So football is the top priority. If that's true stop treating Wembley as a welcome mat for rugby, music and American football fans.

Of course the management can't do that because the new ground cost far too much to build and they need to meet the mortgage and interest payments somehow.

So we are likely to hear these complaints again as England's World Cup 2018 bid enters the final stretch seemingly hampered by an ice rink of a pitch.

Now I'll admit that's a concern but it's one which can be tackled if the FA bring in a company with some basic knowledge of how to lay a pitch.

The more immediate problem is the mistimed tackle or misplaced pass which causes an injury during the FA Cup Final or the Mexico friendly on May 24th.

The BBC says "England manager Fabio Capello is likely to be concerned that increased damage to the Wembley turf could put key members of his World Cup squad at increased risk of injury."

He won't be the only one.

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