The grass in one of the World Cup stadiums set to host a high-profile match on Saturday is in awful shape and not suitable to play on, according to a new statement from the international players' union.
Pretty much everyone agrees that the pitch inside Arena Amazonia in the city of Manaus is terrible. The Fédération Internationale des Associations de Footballeurs Professionnels, or FIFPro for short, which is the international footballers players' union, issued a statement Friday condemning the quality of the pitch. "The players deserve a quality playing surface," FIFPro's statement reads. "This isn't the case in Manaus." Images of the turf taken this week have shown yellow grass and lines running across the field. The ground near one of the nets is particularly dry and patchy.
Italy and England square off at Manaus on Saturday, in what will be the biggest match for both squads in the group play round. As two of the strongest teams in Group D, the winner will have the best chance of advancing; the loser will have to fight for their life against a tough Uruguay squad and Costa Rica. The weather Saturday likely won't help either; it's going to be hot and humid.