UEFA has decided, in agreement with the host city and the stadium operator, that it will replace the pitch at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille Métropole immediately after the Group E match between Italy and the Republic of Ireland on 22 June.
The extremely difficult weather conditions in the past few weeks (rain, humidity, lack of sunshine) have caused irreversible damage to the surface at the stadium, in spite of a series of measures (a ban on pre-match training on the pitch, use of fertilisers, seeding, mowing, light therapy and drying) put in place to allow the playing surface to recover.
The new pitch will be transported from the Netherlands and its installation will be completed on the afternoon of 24 June.
UEFA has previously successfully carried out the replacement of a pitch during a EURO final tournament; the pitch at St-Jakob Park in Basel was replaced during UEFA EURO 2008 following extreme weather. That allowed the following three matches at the stadium to be played in excellent conditions, and UEFA is confident that will also be the case for the last-16 and quarter-final matches which will take place in Lille on 26 June and 1 July respectively.
Repair work on the pitches at Marseille and Saint-Denis, which commenced some days ago, is already bearing fruit and these pitches should be in good condition within a few days.
Finally, UEFA wishes to express its complete satisfaction with the excellent work done by its pitch consultant Richard Hayden, and maintains its complete confidence in his expertise. UEFA rejects the completely baseless criticism directed at him throughout the tournament.