Uefa pile pressure on Spurs with Wembley pitch inspections ahead of Champions League game against PSV

The pitch at Wembley still carried NFL markings ahead of Tottenham's game with Manchester City - Action Images via Reuters
The pitch at Wembley still carried NFL markings ahead of Tottenham's game with Manchester City - Action Images via Reuters

Uefa will carry out extra pitch inspections at Wembley on Monday as officials pile pressure on Tottenham and the Football Association to ensure the playing surface is improved before their Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven.

European football's governing body will check the pitch twice in 24 hours to ensure the pitch is dramatically better than it was for Spurs' 1-0 defeat against Manchester City, when NFL markings and damaged turf were clearly visible.

The Wembley groundsmen had refused to wash away the markings following Sunday's match between the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars. because they believed it could cause damage to the grass.

Monday's Uefa inspection will prioritise playability over aesthetics, a source said. Meanwhile, a spokesman for the governing body said: “Uefa is closely monitoring the situation at the Wembley Stadium and working together with the club, The Football Association and the management of the stadium, to guarantee safe playing conditions for the upcoming Uefa Champions League match.”

City manager Pep Guardiola said the pitch did not represent "football conditions" after Monday's match. The insertion of extra Tottenham fixtures placed extra strain on a pitch that also hosted Anthony Joshua's world-title fight last month.

Having failed to finish their new stadium in time for the initial opening date of Sept 15, Tottenham had been tentatively working towards completing it in time for the Burnley game on Dec 15.

However, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy last week confirmed the club's new stadium will not be ready for that date and that Spurs will finish the year playing at Wembley, where 56,854 fans – below the 90,000 capacity – watched the defeat by City.

The delays have led to suggestions that the Manchester United game on Jan 13 could be a new target, but construction experts have told Telegraph Sport that February is a more realistic move-in date.

Tottenham have a number of electrical issues to resolve and the sheer scale of the work still left, along with the Christmas and new year break, make it difficult to complete in time for the visit of United. The team have two home league fixtures in February, against Newcastle United, on Feb 2, and Leicester City seven days later.