The World Cup warm-up match between Belgium and the USMNT, originally set to be played behind closed doors on Thursday, may be canceled.
Marc Wilmots wants to avoid his team being subjected to long delays in the chaos of Sao Paulo. The Belgium coach said he “will not take the risk to go to Sao Paulo, looking at the possibility of a strike and traffic jams. I don’t want to sit in a bus for five hours.”
It may seem like a silly reason to cancel a match based on “traffic,” but keep in mind that last month, Sao Paulo experienced the worst traffic jam in its history – 214 miles of clogged up roads. And while a subway strike was temporarily suspended, there’s a strong possibility that, if the two sides don’t come to an agreement on Wednesday evening, the transport system will be a mess again on Thursday.
Just in time for the opening match of the World Cup!
Wilmots said he will contact Jurgen Klinsmann late on Wednesday to discuss whether the game will go ahead. The Belgian manager is considering having his team warm up with an intrasquad game at their training base in Sao Paolo, instead.
Both teams have some time to further prepare for the tournament. Belgium’s first match isn’t until next Tuesday, the 17th, against Algeria. The USMNT begins on Monday the 16th, with their match against Ghana scheduled for 6 p.m. ET.