THE MARACANA STADIUM HAS UNDERGONE SEVERAL CHANGES AFTER RECEIVING IMMENSE BACKLASH AND CRITICISM FROM THE WORLD
An austere Copa America campaign kicked off after facing considerable amounts of backlash. A billion reasons and soon the season was heading into the category of “Worst Copa America”. But some good news is coming out of South America. The CONMEBOL has changed the Maracana pitch amid criticism.
Some optimistic football fans had predicted that the start of the summer of football will reduce the sombre mood in South America. But, be it Brazil’s Samba or Argentina’s heroics, none of the factors has winded away the dull clouds surrounding the tournament.
Be it Venezuela’s covid struck squad or Brazil’s greedy affair as hosts, the Copa America is crowded with controversies.
And with the knockout stages looming large, another anecdote of criticism had been written in the history books. Brazil’s Maracana stadium had come under the scanner for fielding an atrocious and faulty pitch.
But after the world poured in with comments against the pitch, the CONMEBOL finally agreed to transform the surface and solve the problems currently existing.
The juggling of hosting rights finally ended with Brazil bagging the ‘Host’ tag. But the situation in the South American country hasn’t been perfect, to say the least. After greed and hosting problems, it’s the pitch that has attracted attention.
With dismal playing conditions available it was almost impossible for players to don their national jerseys and put out a magical display. The Maracana stadium’s pitch was undergoing a revamp and wasn’t available for the last-minute tournament.
— The Tribune (@thetribunechd) June 27, 2021
The Nilton Santos Stadium in Brazil’s capital city, Rio was deemed to host 7 pivotal matches after Maracana had left the teams hanging. However, following the commencement of the competition, the backlash regarding the pitch’s situation has only gotten louder.
The Brazilian press claimed that the nation’s football organisation is attempting to persuade CONMEBOL to transfer the knockouts to the Arena Pantanal, where the Brazilian army has officially progressed as Group B’s best team after a 1-1 stalemate at Ecuador.
Esses foram os lances destaques do jogo.
— Copa América (@CopaAmerica) June 27, 2021
But CONMEBOL had to figure out a solution within days. The 2016 Copa America was also on the world’s radar citing problems with the stadiums and these problems have not exited CONMEBOL’S room.
Brazilian coach, Tite reportedly followed the footsteps of Argentine legend Lionel Messi and Brazil’s veteran Neymar when he officially criticised the facilities at Nilton Santos. The home of Botafogo, a side featuring in Brazil’s lower division, Tite’s outburst against the 2016 Olympics pitch sent shockwaves throughout the world.
After a magnificent victory against Los Cafeteros, Tite explained that the playing conditions were “unacceptable.”
Tite’s remarks didn’t stop. Even after being fined a whopping sum of money, the Brazilian head coach had a few words to say before facing Ecuador.
“If I talk about the bad pitch (of the Nilton Santos) I will be fined,” “It will happen again. The changed Maracana pitch will not be good until the final. The time is too little (to improve). You can write that.” the Brazilian exclaimed.
But CONMEBOL also lashed out at Tite but indirectly. They released a clip exhibiting changes they had made in the Maracana stadium.
Agronomist Maristela Kuhn said the soccer body’s objective is “good results in very few days.”
This is great because the pitch will be only used for one (Copa America) match. And all this service stays for the clubs (playing at the Maracana),” she said.
After Selecao’s thrashing of Peru, it was Neymar’s turn to take a dig using Instagram: `Celebrating yesterday’s goal on the beautiful pitch of the Engenhao.“ Please, fix the pitch, he added.
Peruvian goalkeeper Pedro Gallese joined hands with Neymar’s complaint. “The pitch was in terrible conditions. You couldn’t take a goal kick. The ball sinks,” he said.
Argentina’s record-breaking striker Lionel Messi was quite critical of the pitch stating that the conditions spoilt his team’s victory. His coach, Lionel Scaloni, felt Argentina lost unnecessary three points claiming: It is a pitch for another sport, not to play soccer. No major improvements were made since.
But fortunately, everything is now under control as the changed Maracana pitch prepares to host the final of the prestigious South American tournament.