UEFA Pitch Management and Maintenance expert Philip Fifield has completed the process of grass testing and examining soils of 17 selected football Stadiums across the country on Tuesday evening.
The process is under the UEFA Assist Project and officially began on Saturday 15th February 2020 with two stadiums inspected in the West Nile district of Arua at Green Light Stadium and Arua Hills.
On Sunday 16th February, the process crossed over to the Eastern Uganda town of Jinja. Groundsmen for Four (4) Stadiums (Kyabazinga, Kakindu, The Mighty Arena and FUFA Technical Centre) were available to receive the expertise from Fifield as he was examining the pitches.
Switching focus to the central business district of Kampala, the process resumed with visits of Mandela National Stadium Namboole on Monday Morning. The technical work took Fifield an hour to examine the hardness and softness of the ground, the moisture of the soil, the effectiveness of the drainage system, among others.
On the same day, Fifield visited Luzira Maroons stadium, StarTimes Stadium Lugogo, and St. Mary’s Stadium Kitende where he examined and tested the artificial turf for Lugogo and Kitende pitches together with the Groundsmen for the respective stadiums.
During the final day of inspection, the UEFA expert traveled to the Western Uganda City of Mbarara on Tuesday where he had a successful testing and examining process for Kakyeka Stadium before winding the program with a thorough process on the soil and natural grass of Masaka recreation ground in Masaka Town.
While making his observation after the testing and examining of the 16 stadiums, UEFA expert Fifield admitted the challenge of most pitches struggling to have good grass cover throughout the pitch.
‘We have noticed a lot of work that should be done on the pitches to ensure that they have good grass coverage throughout the pitch and to guarantee that the playing surface is as safe as possible. It is a big challenge during the dry spells. Only the pitches that have the application of black soils prior to the pitch have managed to retain the moisture for the grasses to survive together with those that have a good drainage system like the National Stadium’ said UEFA expert Fifield.
On the other hand, FUFA Club Licensing Manager Ivan Kintu Bayige believes that the process has unleashed most of the encounters that lead to the failure to have good grass cover for pitches in the country.
‘This program was intended to identify what is exactly on our grounds in terms of soils and grass in order to find solutions to the problems of our pitches. Among the 17 Grounds, we noticed there is a challenge of proper drainage system, the mixture of different grass types at the pitch and maintenance of the soils however a lot has been identified by the UEFA expert and the grounds will use it as solutions to the challenges of managing and maintaining pitches’ said Ivan Kintu
The UEFA Pitch Management and Maintenance projecr continues this Thursday 18th February with a 3-day workshop for Groundsmen at the Mandela National Stadium Namboole.
MAIN PHOTO: UEFA Expert examining St. Mary’s Kitende artificial turf