In just two days, the World Cup is scheduled to kick off with a top billing matchup between England and Italy. The key word there is scheduled. As the latest word trickles from the jungles of South America, the outlook is bleak for soccer in Amazonia Arena in Manaus, Brazil. The pitch is a mess, the practice fields are reduced to hotel gyms, and again, they’re in the middle of the jungle.
In a stadium that’s been generously described as barely completed by Deadspin, it will be a small wonder if all four World Cup games scheduled in Manaus are played without injury or accident to a player or even a fan.
But not to worry. At least the players can arrive and practice and get ready for their game in 90 degrees with suffocating humidity, right? Err.
Per the Telegraph article linked within the Deadspin piece:
The England players are due to train on the pitch on Friday, ahead of facing Italy on it the following day. The Fifa-allocated training pitch in Manaus that England had been offered for use was not finished in February and there remain doubts over its suitability.
So the real stadium is barely complete and the training facilities are completely for naught. At this point, given that Manaus has zero use for the stadium beyond the World Cup, why not just call it on everything but the bare essentials? Get the wires covered safely and the risks abated and at least make it so people aren’t risking their lives to come to a game. At this point, if we get that, any result in England vs. Italy will be a rousing success.