England, Italy face stadium issues ahead of World Cup clash
Manaus pitch in poor condition days before opener
You can add another complaint to the list of concerns plaguing Arena Amazonia before the stadium’s World Cup debut on Saturday.
Photos snapped by Getty Images show the Manaus pitch in an extremely poor state mere days away from hosting the marquee Italy-England Group D matchup.
Groundskeepers have struggled to keep the grass healthy at the newly-built stadium, due to the region’s extreme weather conditions.
Reporters at the venue on Thursday also saw power cables dangling from the walls of the dressing rooms and a few security doors were also be waiting to be fitted.
A stadium worked died last year at the venue after falling off the roof.
What this means
Many pundits already expected the marquee match between England and Italy to be a dour, conservative affair, considering the searing heat in the region. Add the pitch issues to the list, and you have a 0-0 draw written all over this one. It'd be a shock if there were more than two goals scored. The issues also don't bode well for the other three matches that will be played in Manaus, and teams may have to adjust tactics accordingly.