1858: The stadium announcer says the match will shortly resume. Good news. The match will restart at 4:20 minutes.
1854: France coach Laurent Blanc has been walking out on the pitch with tournament director Martin Kallen, surveying the state of the pitch. It is much better than it was, but still very, very wet out there. Referee Kuipers has also come out and is seeing how the ball rolls in the worst-affected area of the pitch. There’s not much bounce there. The fans in the stadium are cheering _ they want this game to restart!
1845: The groundsmen are out in force, prodding the sodden areas of the pitch. It’s stopped raining, so the situation looks a lot roser.
1835: It’s ironic that the chorus of the song being played in the stadium is, “Let It Rain Over Me” by Pitbull ft. Marc Anthony. Nice choice! It’s still raining…
1830: Patches of the pitch are completely waterlogged. Ukraine coach Oleg Blokhin is standing in the tunnel, looking concerned and with a towel wrapped around his shoulders. UEFA says play will not resume before 2000 local time (1900 Polish time). So, the two matches will definitely overlap if Ukraine-France resumes. Not sure television companies will be happy with that!
1825: There’s a danger that if the players do get back on, the game will run over into the group’s match _ Sweden vs. England in Kiev. By the way, 4 minutes, 20 seconds were played before the match was suspended.
1817: (at)mattekaren Incredible images of the lightning over the stadium in Donetsk. That pitch doesn’t look like it will be playable any time soon. (via Twitter)
There will be a pitch inspection before the players are allowed back on, but there is no sign of the rain abating. France’s Franck Ribery and Ukraine’s Anatoliy Tymoshcuk _ teammates at Bayern Munich _ are chatting in the tunnel.
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By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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