The pitch where high profile World Cup games including USA vs Portugal and Italy vs England will be played is currently in poor condition due to extreme weather conditions in Manaus.
The state of the pitch (pictured above) is a concern given that the first game will be played on Saturday between England and Italy. The field is dry and sandy, and bare around one of the goals in addition to yellowing in parts of the pitch.
England will travel on Thursday to Manaus, home to the $290 million stadium. Meanwhile, the US will play Portugal on the field on June 22.
The Telegraph newspaper reports that, “The pitch has been undergoing emergency repair in recent months due to seriously undernourished grass following the excessive use of fertilizer on the new playing surface. It is considered difficult to maintain a good playing surface in Manaus because of the extreme weather conditions.”
Here’s a photograph of the Manaus pitch during better times (this past January, when government officials toured the stadium):
— Brazil Gov News (@BrazilGovNews) January 24, 2014