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Grounds crew makes sure field in Manaus is green

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 13, 2014 at 8:39 pm •  Published: June 13, 2014

MANAUS, Brazil (AP) — The grass at the Arena da Amazonia will be green for England's game against Italy, either naturally or artificially.

Workers at the stadium in Manaus have been using green dye on the dead areas of the playing surface to make sure it looks good for Saturday's Group D match at the World Cup.

It's not an unusual move, but it comes after the head groundsman said this week that the field is "in bad shape."

While television crews were setting up behind the goals on Friday, the grounds crew was working on the field, making sure the lines and penalty spot were bright white.

Despite concerns over the quality of the field, FIFA is clearly satisfied with its condition. Both England and Italy trained on it Friday, standard procedure for a match at a major tournament. If the field was not in playing shape, then FIFA could cancel the practices and ask the teams to train elsewhere.

"I've just been on the pitch and it's totally fine," England captain Steve Gerrard said. "The grass is perfect length."

The Arena da Amazonia is one of several stadiums in Brazil that was completed way behind schedule. The venue was supposed to have been finished a year ago, but crews were still scrambling to finish work only last month.

The state of the pitch ahead of Saturday's match was a separate problem, but one that seems to have been successfully rectified.

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