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Azteca to revert to natural turf pitch

The field at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca is set to revert back to natural turf, officials at the venue have revealed.

It comes after November’s planned NFL American football game between the Los Angeles Rams and Kansas City Chiefs at the venue was cancelled. The NFL ruled at the time that the Azteca pitch presented “unnecessary risks” to player safety.

Last May, the pitch at the Azteca switched to one combining synthetic and natural grass, which is used across major football stadia in Europe.

However, after the stadium hosted a Telehit music concert on November 7 and a Liga MX football match between Cruz Azul and Lobos BUAP shortly after, the pitch was deemed unplayable for what had been a highly-anticipated clash between the Rams and the Chiefs. The game was eventually held at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

In a bid to prevent such issues arising again, the stadium will revert back to natural turf, which the Associated Press news agency said would be fitted during the break in the Liga MX schedule. The NFL will return to the stadium this year when the Chiefs play the Los Angeles Chargers on November 18.

The Azteca has a capacity of 87,000 and is set to be one of the host venues for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which Mexico will co-host with the US and Canada.

Image: Estadio Azteca