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Chile coach hits out at poor pitch

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

SAO PAULO - Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli has hit out at the state of the World Cup pitch in Sao Paulo ahead of their Group B decider against the Netherlands.

Sampaoli said the Corinthians Arena pitch was "totally in a bad state" after his team preferred to hold their final pre-match training session elsewhere.

"We normally don't train in the match stadium, we prefer to be closer to our quarters. And the pitch is totally in a bad state so we don't want to destroy it more," he told reporters.

"We don't want it to be damaged any more because tomorrow we have a decisive game in the stadium that doesn't have a pitch that lives up to expectations."

On inspection, the pitch looked worn especially around the goalmouth areas. There were also bare patches of earth along the sidelines.

The newly built stadium, which is still unfinished, has only hosted two matches so far and is scheduled to hold another four, including Chile's game today and a semi-final.

The Sao Paulo stadium attracted much controversy in the build-up to the World Cup after three workers died during its construction.

The stadium includes temporary stands and when it hosted the opening ceremony and tournament opener between Brazil and Croatia, it had not been tested at full capacity.

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