MLS

Delayed start of TFC-Impact game like watching paint dry — literally

Kickoff of Game 1 of the MLS Eastern Conference final between the Toronto FC and Montreal Impact was delayed Tuesday night over an apparent discrepancy in the size of the penalty box at Olympic Stadium.

Mis-marked penalty lines force teams to wait more than 30 minutes to start MLS Eastern final

Grounds crew make last-minute adjustments to the penalty box lines at Olympic Stadium, delaying the start of the first leg of the MLS Eastern Conference final. ( Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

Kickoff of Game 1 of the MLS Eastern Conference final was delayed Tuesday night over an apparent discrepancy in the size of the penalty box at Olympic Stadium.


After the players exited the field following their warmup, workers taped over the sidelines of the box and started measuring as a game official watched. It appeared the box was a metre or so short on each side.

"Due to a technical problem on the field, kickoff will be delayed," the Montreal Impact tweeted.


Seventeen minutes after the scheduled kickoff, the capacity crowd of 61,004 cheered as a worker came out to patiently paint the line with a push-machine. 

He was followed by a man equipped with what looked like a leaf-blower to dry the freshly laid paint.


The game was originally slated for 8 p.m. The crowd seemed good-natured about the delay, however.

"We're somewhat embarrassed," Impact owner Joey Saputo told ESPN, which was broadcasting the game south of the border.

"We have to take responsibility for it," he added. "It's unfortunate it has happened."


The Impact normally play at the adjacent Saputo Stadium but have used Olympic Stadium for big games.

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