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Basel lays new turf for Man United game after WCup playoff

Staff members work under heavy rain to evacuate water from the pitch, prior to the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifying play-off second leg soccer match between Switzerland and Northern Ireland at the St. Jakob-Park stadium in Basel, Switzerland, Sunday, Nov.12, 2017. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)

BASEL, Switzerland (AP) After hosting a World Cup playoff on its rain-soaked pitch, Basel says a new surface must be laid before Manchester United visits in the Champions League next week.

Basel says the work is needed due to "heavy rainfall and the damage sustained" during Switzerland's 0-0 draw against Northern Ireland on Sunday. Switzerland, which plays key home games at St. Jakob-Park, advanced to its fourth straight World Cup.

The Swiss club champion says it will pay the cost of replacing the turf before a league game this weekend. Basel then hosts United on Nov. 22.

St. Jakob-Park has previously got a new surface for high-profile games.

At the 2008 European Championship, the turf was re-laid during the group stage after Switzerland lost to Turkey 2-1 in a downpour.

Updated November 13, 2017

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