This feature appears in the new issue of Howler, an independent magazine about soccer produced in the United States. You can order a copy here.
The turf at Manaus's Arena Amazonia is still going to be shit for Saturday's England-Italy match. It's going to be sandy and uneven and third-rate. But worry not: It's going to look great on TV. Today, workers laid down green spray paint to cover the brown parts.
This is Arena Amazonia, nestled in the Amazon rainforest in Manaus, Brazil. It is the worst.
That photo up there is from Arena Amazonia in Manaus. The turf is patchy, sandy, and as acknowledged by the groundskeeper, in no way ready to host soccer, let alone a World Cup match. Too bad, because the crucial opener between England and Italy is on Saturday.