Karela Pitch
Karela Pitch

The turf at Rio de Janeiro’s Maracana stadium will be relaid after weeks of criticism from players, coaches and officials.

A new pitch will be installed following Wednesday’s Copa do Brasil match between Fluminense and Atletico Goianiense, according to venue operator Maracana SA.

The 79,000-seat Maracana, which hosted the World Cup deciders in 1950 and 2014, was this month described as having the worst playing surface in Brazil by Flamengo vice-president Marcos Braz.

Maracana SA made the decision to carry out the unscheduled facelift to capitalize on a fixturing quirk that has left the stadium without football for almost two weeks.

Following Wednesday’s clash, the stadium will not stage another game until September 28, when Fluminense host Coritiba in the Brazilian Serie A.

Maracana SA chief executive Severiano Braga said one section of the pitch had already been replaced with positive results.

“The area that was replanted a month ago is excellent and responding very well,” the Globo newspaper quoted Braga as saying on Monday. “If we repeat the same procedure the next change is going be a success,” he added.

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