KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 — Defending champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) and Terengganu FC (TFC) are dissatisfied with the condition of the pitch at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil here, ahead of their 2023 Malaysia Cup final tomorrow night.
JDT Head Coach Esteban Solari said the pitch, which uses Zeon Zoysia grass, was not at its best and urged all parties to work together to preserve the gift from JDT owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim.
However, the 43-year-old coach from Argentina said despite the pitch conditions, his side will continue to perform brilliantly and create a proud achievement.
“Last year it was the cowgrass and this year we have the fantastic grass, but unfortunately not the best condition of the pitch...it’s not our concern now, we are now focusing on having a good game and playing football that we used to play and win the game.
“No matter what the pitch is like, we will go for the game and be the team we have been all year to give satisfaction to our boss (Tunku Ismail) and fans,” he said during the pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s final here, today.
At the same time, JDT captain Jordi Amat who is excited to play his first final at the Harimau Malaya squad’s home ground, hopes that the pitch conditions will improve tomorrow.
“I hope the pitch gets better because, to be honest, I’m not very happy...I can see in the middle of the pitch there is a part of the grass that is not really into the ground, let’s see tomorrow in the warm-up, let’s see if we can play there, if not we will try to avoid that part,” said the 31-year-old defender.
Meanwhile, Terengganu Head Coach Tomislav Steinbruckner who is also not pleased with the condition said that although the pitch was not perfect, it was still acceptable.
“I saw the field now, I saw from the media in the last few days, it’s not perfect but okay, tomorrow two teams will be playing there and we will struggle together for our target,” said the Croatian-German coach.
Last Monday, the pitch of the National Stadium went viral and it even received the attention of Tunku Ismail who uploaded the condition of the pitch which appeared affected in Tunku Ismail’s social media sites.
This is the second time in about two weeks Tunku Ismail uploaded the condition of the pitch at the National Stadium with the first time two days after the Coldplay concert was held at the stadium on November 22.
For the record, Tunku Ismail presented Zeon Zoysia grass for the National Stadium which was planted this year.
JDT, three-time Malaysia Cup champions are set to defend its title while Terengganu are gunning for a second title after their last victory in 2001. — Bernama