Roy Hodgson: Brazil will be fur coats one day, mossie spray the next
Dramatic temperature changes and huge travel implications worry the England manager
Roy Hodgson warned yesterday the next World Cup in Brazil in two years' time could present the Football Association with “major logistical problems” having been out to inspect England's potential options for a base camp.
Hodgson was part of an FA delegation that visited prospective bases, providing the team qualifies, in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte this month and said that the size of the country and the differences in climate between the north-western tropical areas and the much cooler south will be a major consideration.
Ideally, the FA would like to be based in Rio de Janeiro but Hodgson warned, at an event for team sponsors Vauxhall, that the city was likely to be the preference of most of the 32 competing nations. He also said that the FA has found it hard to identify a hotel it can "commandeer", as it has done in the recent past, which could make privacy for the team an issue.
Hodgson said: "They've got a major logistical problem. It's a vast country. I don't think we realise quite how vast. There's going to be enormous difficulties for the teams that qualify, according to where they're drawn.
"You've got to remember, it's the Brazilian winter, so it's not going to be particularly much of a sunbathing time unless you find yourself in Rio. If you're down in Porto Alegre, you'll need fur coats because it snows and temperatures reach single figures, and maybe even sometimes lower.
"And if you find yourself in Manaus then you won't be sunbathing but you will find 45-50 degrees of heat and plenty of mosquitoes as well being near the Amazon jungle."
One team in the group stages – drawn in Group F – will have to play two of their three first-round games in the southernmost venue, Porto Alegre, and Manaus, in the Amazon basin.
Hodgson was simply voicing concerns many nations have about Fifa's policy of playing group games all over the country. He did say that a Brazil World Cup "adds some spice to this tournament because it is such a major footballing power". The FA's Club England managing director Adrian Bevington said: "We have had no concerns over what will be delivered. It will be a fantastic World Cup."
Hodgson confirmed that he would select John Terry when he names his squad on Thursday for next month's two World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine, although that was before news of the defender's neck injury emerged. Terry is suspended for next week's European Super Cup game against Atletico Madrid.
The FA is planning two high-profile friendlies at Wembley in February and May next year to mark 150 years since the governing body was founded, with Germany potential opponents. Bevington said the opposition would be "reflective of the history of the England national team and will be extremely attractive to everybody."
The May friendly will be played three days after Wembley hosts the Champions League final on 26 May. Following that friendly, the England squad will fly to Brazil to play two games, one against their hosts and a second opponent, possibly Uruguay or the United States, while basing themselves at the hotel and training ground they hope to use in 2014.
Hodgson said he had been impressed by Team GB players Jack Butland, Tom Cleverley, Daniel Sturridge and Ryan Bertrand, all selected in this month's Italy friendly squad. He said he could select players in Thursday's squad who are not first choice for their club sides. "The most important thing is are they fit ... whether they play is up to their club coaches and up to them to a certain extent as well.
"The transfer window has not closed yet, who knows if those players will still be with the club [when it closes]. The bottom line is I shall choose from the players who can do the job."
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