The playing surface at the Arena Amazonia in the jungle outpost of Manaus is in “poor condition” with 72 hours to go until the first game, the AFP reports.
The field is “noticeably dry and particularly bare around one of the goal,” according to the report.
Two photos of the grass from photographer Colin Droniou are getting passed around on Wednesday. It looks rough three days before the highly anticipated Italy-England group stage game:
At a cost of $US290 million, the Arena Amazonia has been the most heavily criticised venue at the World Cup. The city doesn’t have a top-flight professional team, so there are fears that the arena will become a white elephant when the tournament is over. Teams have also complained about the exhausting amount of travel it takes to get to the city, and hot conditions they will have to play in once they’re there.
According to the Guardian, the “excessive use of fertiliser” is the reason for the poor playing surface.
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