As the knock-out stage of the FIFA (www.FIFA.com) Women’s World Cup Australia&New Zealand 2023™ gets underway, football of the highest calibre has been played on some of the best pitches on the planet by combining local knowledge, with decades of FIFA expertise.
Blair Christensen and his ground maintenance team at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau are one of ten crews across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand who have provided a world-class football pitch over the past fortnight.
Staring across the immaculate green surface at Eden Park, Christensen speaks with justified pride about the demanding work his team have put in over the past two years and the effective partnership with FIFA’s experts.
FIFA Pitch Venue Manager Keith Kent described the Eden Park ground crew as “exceptionally good” which only required a watching brief from the FIFA experts who provided the guidelines to get the pitch ready for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Eden Park is traditionally used for rugby and cricket, so Christensen explains that he had to produce a turf with different characteristics to facilitate world-class football, focusing on surface firmness, ball roll, and consistency of evenness across the field.
Prior to the knock-out phase starting, Eden Park had already hosted six group matches, with a Round of sixteen game, plus a quarter final and the first semi-final, on 15 August to look forward to. The frequency of games has created a fresh challenge for Christensen and his team who usually host around thirty-five events each year, swapping between rugby, cricket, concerts, and the odd football match.
This video submission contains interviews with Eden Park Turf Manager Blair Christiansen and Joint FIFA Grounds Manager Kent Keith, as well as b-roll of the groundsmen at work and drone footage of the stadium.
Access the Broll and dopesheet: https://apo-opa.info/45vBMmD
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of FIFA.
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