Concerns over Manaus pitch

2014-06-12 10:39
Arena Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil (Supplied)
Arena Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil (Supplied)
Cape Town - The groundsman responsible for the Arena Amazonia in Manaus has conceded that the pitch is in "bad shape" ahead of England's World Cup opener against Italy on Saturday.

The Three Lions will send an official to inspect the pitch on Thursday as concerns grow over the condition of the surface.

"Frankly, Manaus is in bad shape," Carlos Botella, head groundsman for the Royal Verd company, told the Associated Press.

“We’ve started to implement an emergency plan to try to save the field and improve it as much as possible, but I don’t think it’ll be in good condition by the weekend.

“Yesterday we put fertiliser, and we’ll increase the fertilising process with biostimulants and seeds to try to get the most out of the grass.

“The maintenance has been complicated in Manaus. There are no roads, all the machinery and ­materials had to be brought by ship,” he added.

“There’s no fertiliser, no seeds. Every­thing has been complicated.”

In addition to this weekend's clash, the Arena Amazonia will also play host to the fixtures between Cameroon and Croatia, the USA and Portugal, and Honduras against Switzerland.

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