Wembley pitch an 'embarrassment' says PFA chief

PLAYERS' chief Gordon Taylor has branded the Wembley pitch "an embarrassment". The surface caused huge concern over the weekend, with players from all sides struggling to keep their feet during the FA Cup semi-finals.

The pitch seemed to suffer from excessive watering and Tottenham's Michael Dawson slipped at a vital moment as Portsmouth claimed the lead on Sunday.

With England due to play their penultimate World Cup warm-up against Mexico at Wembley on 24 May, two days after the Championship play-off final and nine days after the FA Cup final, there are fears about a member of Fabio Capello's squad getting injured.

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So far the Football Association has opted to keep a discreet silence, but Taylor has waded in with a fierce attack.

"The pitch is a big concern," said Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association. "It is becoming an embarrassment for the FA and it needs to be addressed and addressed properly. There is no point worrying about the finances of Wembley if people are going to be wary of playing there because the pitch is not up to it and you don't get a fair contest."

In order to complete their 757million revamp of the stadium, the Wembley authorities committed themselves to holding a number of events, aside from football and the Rugby League Challenge Cup final, which had traditionally been held at the stadium. This weekend, Saracens will be in action at the stadium, which has also hosted NFL games and even speedway.

It gives credence to the belief that rather than the actual playing surface, the fault lies with what the pitches are laid on, with watering at the weekend making it far too treacherous.

The FA can do without any further problems as it is due to host the 2011 Champions League final, prior to which Fifa will decide who hosts the 2018 World Cup, with Wembley scheduled to stage the final.