Coventry vs Rotherham postponed, deemed unsafe and unplayable

Aug 9, 2022

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Sunday’s Championship match between Coventry City and Rotherham United at the Coventry Building Society Arena has been postponed following a pitch inspection.

The inspection took place at 6pm BST on Saturday, with the game thrown into doubt after the pitch was used at a rugby sevens event during the Commonwealth Games.

An initial inspection took place on Friday by the EFL and a local referee, which promoted the second inspection on Saturday by a senior match official.

The game was due to take place on Sunday.

Coventry confirmed the news in a statement on Saturday evening, adding: “Promised investment by the Arena into a new pitch has unfortunately not materialized over the summer, which has been compounded by concerts on the pitch and then a huge amount of use at the Commonwealth Games last weekend.

“We appreciate the efforts in difficult circumstances that have been made by the grounds staff who work for the Arena.”

Coventry share their home ground with rugby union side Wasps.

Their 32,500-seater stadium has also hosted this summer’s rugby sevens event at the Commonwealth Games which has affected the quality of the pitch.

Dave Boddy, Coventry’s chief executive, said: “We are extremely disappointed at this postponement due to the condition of the pitch.

“It has been deemed unplayable and unsafe by the inspecting official and, having seen it myself, I can understand this decision.

“Last season the condition of the pitch was highlighted as a concern and we expected that this would be addressed by Wasps and the Arena, who are responsible for the pitch, over the summer – sadly this has not been the case, and this is the result of that, plus the large amount of use at the Commonwealth Games last week.

“I am seeking urgent talks with Stephen Vaughan, the Chief Executive at Wasps, and the Arena over the condition of the pitch, and expect immediate and significant improvements to be made to make the pitch playable as soon as possible.”

Wasps had previously said they are working with Coventry to improve the surface of their shared ground after the recent tournament.

“Since the conclusion of the Commonwealth Games, which saw three full days of Rugby Sevens action take place at the arena, the grounds team have been working around the clock to repair the pitch in preparation for the start of the season,” said a Wasps spokesperson.

“We are in close contact with Coventry and committed to working with them to resolve their concerns. A pitch inspection will take place tomorrow so a decision can be taken with regards to Sunday’s game.”

Coventry and Rotherham both opened the league campaign with 1-1 draws against Sunderland and Swansea City respectively.

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