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Tite hits out at CONMEBOL over slow Maracana improvements

Tom Gott
Tite does not believe the Maracana can be saved in time
Tite does not believe the Maracana can be saved in time / Buda Mendes/Getty Images
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Brazil manager Tite has confessed he does not believe CONMEBOL will be able to fix the pitch of the famous Maracana stadium in time for the final of this summer's Copa America.

The Maracana's pitch was in such bad condition earlier this summer that Brazil were forced to move their games to the nearby Nilton Santos Olympic Stadium, but players have not shied away from criticising the pitch at the latter as well.

Tite was recently fined $5,000 by CONMEBOL after insisting the Nilton Santos pitch was 'unacceptable', and he has since admitted that he does not believe that the South American governing body will do enough to fix the Maracana in time for the final on July 10 either.

"If I talk about the bad pitch [of the Nilton Santos] I will be fined,'' Tite said (via ESPN). "It will happen again. The Maracana will not be good until the final. The time is too little [to improve]. You can write that."

CONMEBOL have confirmed that work on the famous Maracana pitch has begun, stressing that they can fix up the stadium in time for the final, but many of the game's top names have spoken out in frustration after seeing the stadium allowed to deteriorate.

The quality of the surface at the Nilton Santos has attracted an intense amount of criticism since Brazil were handed the tournament at short notice earlier this summer.

Neymar pleaded with CONMEBOL to 'fix the pitch', while Argentina's Lionel Messi recently blamed the surface at the Nilton Santos for his side's failure to overcome Chile on the opening day of the tournament.

Lionel Messi
Messi blamed the pitch for holding Argentina back / Gustavo Pagano/Getty Images

"The pitch was in terrible conditions," said Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese. "You couldn't take a goal kick. The ball sinks."

There have been calls for the Nilton Santos to be stripped of its matches in both the quarter-final and semi-final, with the Arena Pantanal suggested as a possible alternative, but a decision is yet to be made.


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