Flooding caused by torrential rains in Recife, Brazil, is threatening Thursday's decisive World Cup Group G match between the United States and Germany.
Constant rain overnight has led to widespread flooding and is seriously impacting fans' ability to get to Arena Pernambuco (pictured), located well outside of Recife.
Dozens of US fans abandoning vehicles and walking through torrential rain to stadium in Recife. 17 miles from here. pic.twitter.com/9rJdlMYrKg— Ben Smith (@BenSmithBBC) June 26, 2014
Not kidding Recife is under water. Will be extremely difficult for everyone to get to stadium hour outside the city. #USAvsGER— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) June 26, 2014
ESPN SportsCenter reported that referees will assess the field conditions one hour prior to the scheduled noon ET kickoff.
Referees will kick a ball around on pitch in Recife at 11 a.m. ET, an hour before kick, to judge if field is playable. (via @JeremySchaap)— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 26, 2014
Upon arriving at the stadium, Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl and ESPNFC.com's Jeff Carlisle reported that conditions there are far better than on the approach route.
At Recife stadium now. No flooding. Can see firsthand the difference between "FIFA-standard" and standard for ordinary Brazilians. Shameful.— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) June 26, 2014
FIFA official tells me that as things stand now, game is set to be played as scheduled. #usmnt— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) June 26, 2014
The other match in Group G, between Ghana and Portugal in Brasilia, is scheduled to kick off simultaneously with the US-Germany match but could be affected by any weather-related delay or postponement.
No tournament games are scheduled for Friday, but postponing the match by a day would be problematic because the teams that advance from Group G are scheduled to play in the Round of 16 on June 30 (group winner) and July 1 (group runner-up).