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SBD Global/June 12, 2014/Facilities
Concerns Over 'Yellowing' Pitch at Manaus Where England, Italy Face Off On Saturday
Published June 12, 2014
MANAUS 'IN BAD SHAPE': The London TELEGRAPH reported Carlos Botella, head groundsman for the Royal Verd company which is responsible for the turf at Manaus and six other World Cup stadiums, has conceded that Saturday’s game "will be played out on a desperately inadequate surface." Botella: "Frankly, Manaus is in bad shape. 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" (TELEGRAPH, 6/11). In London, Andy Hodgson reported the problems "are in part down to the excessive use of fertiliser." Emergency repairs "have been carried out and groundsmen are doing all they can to get the surface up to scratch for Saturday." The rest of the stadium "is not yet completely finished and it is reported that naked power cables are dangling from the walls of the changing rooms and that the car parks are not completed" (EVENING STANDARD, 6/11).
NOT TAKING ROOT: In London, Tim Rich reported the surface is made of Bermuda grass supplied by a company in Sao Paulo 1,700 miles to the south. They "were called back to treat the pitch two months ago with bare patches around the goalmouth and a thin covering elsewhere." The grass "was treated by chemical crystals but, given the apparent state of the pitch, it has not worked." While work continued outside the stadium, the authorities "had been outwardly confident that everything inside would be up to World Cup standards." However, the comment by the head of Brazil’s World Cup management unit, Miguel Capobiango, who said that "the grass buds have all taken root and have been at match conditions since the end of December" looks "way short of reality" (INDEPENDENT, 6/11). Also in London, Gary Payne reported witnesses who have inside the stadium said that "the ground is fully functional but not completely finished." Outside the stadium, workers were "still applying a final coat of asphalt, while several security doors could be seen in their packaging, still waiting to be fitted" (GUARDIAN, 6/11).