Russia coach Fabio Capello says marathon plane trips, crammed airports and rapid temperature changes will cause serious problems at the World Cup finals in Brazil next year.
“(I expect) a lot of problems, big problems with the transport and playing in different conditions,” Capello told reporters during a Champions League Trophy Tour in Sofia on Friday. “You'll need to travel a lot.”
Brazil will become the fifth country to host the World Cup twice after Mexico, Italy, France and Germany. The 1950 finals also took place in Brazil.
“It's also cold in the south and it's really warm in the north,” added the 67-year-old Italian. “I don't know how they decided that you can play in the north and then play in the south only a few days later.”
Last month, the world players' union FIFPro said players had already suffered the effects of the intense heat at this year's Confederation Cup, especially at the Fortaleza semi-final between Italy and Spain which went to extra time.
Some matches are scheduled to kick off at 1300 local time in tropical venues.
“I spoke to the Italian and Spanish players after the semi-final and they said it was impossible to play extra time in that heat, and it was a late afternoon kickoff,” FIFPro secretary general Theo van Seggelen said.
Brazilian airports are notoriously packed and have stuggled to cope with air traffic growth which Capello sees as a big concern for the travelling supporters during the 32-team finals.
“The competition is so exciting but it'll be difficult for the fans to follow it because the airports are not so big and I think this will be a big problem,” the former England manager, who replaced Dick Advocaat as Russia coach following the team's poor showing at Euro 2012, said.
The Russians, who have not qualified for the World Cup since 2002, clinched a place in the next year's tournament after finishing top in Group F, one point ahead of Portugal. Russia will host the 2018 finals.
It will be the fifth time the World Cup finals have been staged in South America after Uruguay in 1930, Chile in 1962 and Argentina in 1978.
This year, FIFA said it wanted the centenary World Cup in 2030 to be jointly staged by Uruguay and Argentina, who met in the final of the inaugural tournament.