Much has been made of the stadium issues in Brazil in the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup. Another problem reared its ugly head on Wednesday, as reporters discovered the pitch at Arena Amazonia in Manaus is in woeful shape, mere days away from its marquee match between England and Italy. 

Stadium officials are getting right out in front of this story by completely pretending that it isn’t an issue. They are doing this by spray-painting the field green to hide the numerous dead patches. 

Groundskeepers have struggled to keep the grass healthy at the newly-built stadium, due to the region’s extreme weather conditions.

All of these issues will make the Italy-England match on Saturday (CBC,, 6 p.m. ET) highly watchable, as both sets of players try not to melt in the searing heat, get paint on their shoes, nor break their ankles on the terrible field.