England v Italy: 'Thin and scarred by yellow lines' - England to send inspector amid concerns over state of Manaus pitch

The pitch was treated two months ago with chemical crystals but the late solution has clearly not worked

Manaus

The pitch on which England will open their World Cup campaign was looking a dreadful state three days before Roy Hodgson’s side kick off against Italy.

The grass which authorities in Brazil claimed had been “at match conditions” since December, is thin and scarred by yellow lines running across the pitch. Work building the car parks and laying cabling is expected to continue up to match day in the 42,000 seat Arena Amazonia.

England will send a member of their backroom staff to inspect the pitch when they land in Manaus on Thursday.

The surface is made of Bermuda grass supplied by a company in Sao Paulo 1700 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 but the comment by the head of Brazil’s World Cup management unit, Miguel Capobiango that: “The grass buds have all taken root and have been at match conditions since the end of December” looks way short of reality.

The stadium, which will host four matches, has staged two domestic fixtures, which revealed serious problems with crowd control. Roy Hodgson, who visited the stadium in February, declared himself happy with the state of the pitch, although after months of rainfall, followed by an intense dry spell, the England manager may not be so relaxed today.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing