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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff
Jun 26, 2014

Rains won't delay U.S.-Germany match

Jurgen Klinsmann spoke to FC's Jeremy Schaap as he arrives at the Arena Pernambuco amid heavy rain.

United States' decisive Group G clash against Germany on Thursday will be played as scheduled despite torrential rains in Recife, FIFA has confirmed.

- Wright: Klinsmann provides USA fans with sick note
- Carlisle: Expectations and success for U.S. hang in the balance

The two sides' are due to meet at the Arena Pernambuco on Thursday, with both nations looking to secure qualification to the round of 16.

There had been fears that the match would be postponed following hours of heavy rainfall in the Brazilian city, which has led to flooding. However, FIFA has told ESPN FC that the game is to be played as planned.

The referee for the clash, Ravshan Irmatov of Uzbekistan, is set to brief FIFA one hour before kick-off.

The dangerous conditions have caused major problems for those travelling through the streets of Recife, with people having to abandon their vehicles.

Despite the flooding around the city, though, the Arena Pernambuco pitch appears to be in good condition.

ESPN FC reporter Jeremy Schaap said: "It was raining all night, high winds down on the waterfront in Recife where we're staying. It took about an hour-and-a-half to get here. A lot of the streets in Recife [are] impassable [with] flooding, people up to their knees trying to push. We got to the stadium here, finally, and the pitch looks very wet.

"At noon, local time (11am ET), an hour before kick-off, the referee will go out on to the field with a FIFA official. They will kick the ball around and at that point, based on what they feel with the ball, with this pitch, they will make a determination whether or not to play this game as scheduled.

"Yesterday, when there was relatively light traffic and no rain it took about 25 to 30 minutes, maybe a little longer than that. It's not close, it's a stadium that is a long way out of the city. It's going to take people a long time to get here.

"But it seems through social media people are being made aware of the issues, they are going to allow themselves some extra time to get here. Some of the good news, though, is there is less rain and less wind in [the stadium]. We are further from the coast and a little bit inland at this stadium."

United States experienced similar problems before their opening World Cup game against Ghana in Natal, although that match was allowed to take place despite torrential rain in the city.

Were Thursday's clash to be postponed, it raises the possibility that Group G's other remaining game involving Portugal and Ghana -- which is due to start at the same time -- could also suffer the same fate.

FIFA's rules state that the final round of World Cup group games must kick off at the same time to prevent teams from gaining an unfair advantage by knowing exactly what result they may need to advance to the next stage.

Given the current tightness of Group G, this would perhaps have to be the case as all four teams can still qualify for the round of 16.

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