The Hong Kong Football As sociation (HKFA) has welcomed the Provisional Urban Council's decision to start immediate work on the troubled pitch at the Hong Kong Stadium, saying the coming league fixtures should go ahead as scheduled on August 30. Ambrose Cheung Wing-sum, the Hong Kong Stadium Board of Governors director, said yesterday that work on the pitch, which will cost $1.62 million, would start on Monday and that the public could expect to see a new pitch by September. He said workers would spend the first five weeks uprooting the bad turf to ensure no insects, bacteria or moss hamper the healthy growth of the grass. Another 12 weeks will be spent nursing the turf. HKFA deputy secretary Miranda Yu said the association had made alternative arrangements in case the Hong Kong Stadium wasn't available for use in September. But the Provisional Urban Council's positive outlook on the new pitch has boosted hopes that the opening matches in the new soccer season will go ahead as scheduled at the Hong Kong Stadium. 'The HKFA is very pleased to hear the good news that the Hong Kong Stadium will be ready by September. This has confirmed our opening seasonal fixtures for the coming season. We were ready to move our opening matches to either Mongkok or Siu Sai Wan but now that looks unnecessary,' said Yu. 'Before this decision had been made, we were not sure what action the Provisional Urban Council was going to take, especially after the takeover from Wembley. The HKFA Council had confirmed that the coming season would start on August 30,' she said. The HKFA wants the season to start on August 30 as part of Hong Kong coach Sebastiao Araujo's 'master plan' of starting the season early so that Hong Kong's Asian Games squad can have four weeks to go overseas for training as a final tune-up for the Bangkok Games. Araujo said a one-month winter break towards the end of November after the first-phase of the league is completed would allow the Hong Kong squad uninterrupted training. Yu said the HKFA was still in the dark as to the hiring charges at the Hong Kong Stadium now that Wembley was no longer managing the venue. 'We are not sure whether we will receive the same package deals as before now that the Urban Council has taken over,' said Yu. 'At present, the minimum charge [less than $150,000 per match] was accepted by the HKFA, especially as this included other services like stewards, police and other facilities. 'But we are confident, after so many years of co-operation and understanding with the Urban Council, we will continue to have a harmonious working relationship. We are not too worried about this matter.' Meanwhile, the HKFA has announced that the public can obtain refunds for the cancelled Football Extravaganza - but they have only until tomorrow to do so. Last Sunday's Rangers v Bologna and Instant-Dict v Ajax Amsterdam matches were washed out because of torrential rain. Refunds can be obtained at the Hong Kong Football Association ticket office at 55 Fat Kwong Street, Homantin, or at the ticket office of the Hong Kong Stadium from 11 am to 5 pm. The HKFA said any requests for refunds after tomorrow would not be entertained.