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UEFA Cup Final on Special Pitch

DENDERMONDE, Belgium, May 8 /PRNewswire/ --

- Technically Advanced Football Possible Thanks to Desso's Artificial Grass Fibres

The UEFA Cup Final between FC Zenit St. Petersburg and Rangers FC will be played on an ingenious pitch at the City of Manchester Stadium, the home base of Manchester City FC.

More than 20 million artificial grass fibres will protect the natural grass ensuring that Manchester City's pitch is in perfect shape.

Lee Jackson, Deputy Head Groundsman states: "The pitch suffered with the bad weather during the busy winter period but thanks largely to the Desso Grassmaster has recovered quickly. As a Groundsman, it is an honour for the pitch to be used as the venue for the UEFA cup final and it is a chance to prepare a surface that will do justice to such a prestigious event."

The stadium too has been designed according to a unique concept. It was built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games and was then converted into a football stadium.

Every seat in the stadium is covered by the roof, which is supported by an innovative pre-stressed cable net. However, the design had implications on the pitch. The rounding out of the seating bowl and the completion of the roof created an environment which made it difficult for the grass to grow. For this reason, the club opted to install the Desso GrassMaster system.

Thanks to this system and the efforts of the dedicated groundstaff, led by Head Groundsman Roy Rigby, the UEFA Cup finalists will be able to play on a technically perfect pitch.

Moreover, thanks to this system, events such as pop concerts are possible on the pitch, which also contributes to the stadium's sustainability.

Background info

- The Desso GrassMaster system is a 100 % natural grass pitch in which 20 million artificial grass fibres have been injected 20 cm deep into the soil by computer-controlled machines.

The roots of the natural grass intertwine with the synthetic grass fibres and anchor the turf into a stable and even pitch.

- 13 out of the 20 English Premier League clubs play or train on a Desso field. Eight of them play on a Desso GrassMaster field in their own stadium including Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Aston Villa.

- 7 clubs from the Dutch Eredivisie (Premier League) play on a Desso GrassMaster pitch in their stadium, including AZ Alkmaar, FC Utrecht and NAC.

- In the USA, NFL clubs such as Denver Broncos, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles and Green Bay Packers play on a Desso GrassMaster in their stadium

- Worldwide, more than 250 clubs play and train on a Desso GrassMaster system.

About Desso Sports Systems

Desso Sports Systems is European market leader in sports surfaces. The company annually produces over 3 million msquared of artificial grass for football, tennis, hockey, rugby and American Football pitches. The patented Desso GrassMaster system is internationally successful with professional and amateur football clubs.

Desso Sports Systems has its headquarters in Dendermonde (Belgium) and sales offices throughout Europe. The company is part of Desso, a top European manufacturer of contract carpets and carpet tiles for the office, aviation, hotel, marine, hospital, school, and consumer markets. Clients include ABN AMRO, KLM, Virgin Atlantic, Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts and the 1000 Desso employees are responsible for an annual turnover of 200 million Euro.

SOURCE Desso Sports Systems

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