Relaunched Bkt Jalil National Stadium now has world-class pitch

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12: The Tunku Mahkota of Johor, Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim today officiated the new pitch at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil here, a day before the kick-off of the 2023 Merdeka Football Tournament.

The opening ceremony was also attended by Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh, the Malaysian Stadium Corporation (PSM) chairman Datuk Hans Isaac and its chief executive officer, Mohd Faidz Sanusi.

Hannah said that in addition to the new Zeon Zoysia-type grass pitch sponsored by Tunku Ismail, the National Stadium also went through pitch-upgrading works involving the pitch, structure and nursery for the Zeon Zoysia grass with a cost of almost RM4.8 million.

She said PSM had carried out the work of changing to the Zeon Zoysia grass at Harimau Malaya squad’s home pitch immediately after the ground-breaking ceremony on March 18.

“The handover of the project site to the company (Talenttwo (M) Sdn Bhd) was carried out on April 1,  2023 and the grass conversion work was carried out until Sept 30, 2023. The maintenance period is one year from Oct 1, 2023 to Sept 30 next year.

When asked to comment on Tunku Ismail’s reaction to the new pitch, Hannah said the Crown Prince seemed satisfied with the pitch and also gave some suggestions on the maintenance of the pitch.

“We hope tomorrow we can get feedback from Kim Pan Gon (head coach of the national team) and the Harimau Malaya team because they will be playing on this pitch,” she said.

Meanwhile, Mohd Faidz said PSM is proud to have a world-class type of grass that meets international standards, besides the improvements made to enable the maintenance process to run smoothly.

“The most important thing is we changed the drainage system, piping and all that because we can no longer use the old technology. It is a proud moment for PSM and the best part is we have 9,000 square feet of grass in the nursery, so we can replace it when the situation calls for it,” he said.

Zeon Zoysia grass at PSM’s nursery near the National Stadium is also a gift sponsored by Tunku Ismail.