World Cup 2014: Roy Hodgson plans scouting mission to Manaus
The England manager wants to assess potential bases in the Amazonian city
Wednesday 18 December 2013
England manager Roy Hodgson will travel to Manaus early next year to asses potential bases in the Amazonian city ahead of the opening 2014 World Cup fixture against Italy.
Concerns have been raised over the type of environment awaiting England in the June 14 fixture, with humidity levels there reaching over 80 per cent during the Brazilian winter.
While admitting it was still not an ideal place in which to prepare for and play such an important fixture, Hodgson is now more positive about taking his team to the Arena da Amazonia, which will host four matches.
A World Cup workshop for all competing nations is scheduled for February, but ahead of that both Hodgson and Club England managing director Adrian Bevington intend to visit Manaus to assess potential bases.
"We didn't want to be based up in the north, but we have got one game up there in Manaus, which will be very interesting as it presents very different challenges to the games in Belo Horizonte and Sao Paulo, but we will be ready for that," Hogdson said on thefa.com.
"I shall make a visit there before we have the workshop in February - I will go early with Adrian Bevington and we will also spend a day or so in Miami to check on our potential camp there before we go to Rio [England's main base for the tournament].
"We have already decided that we will go with the team [to Manaus] two days before, not the usual one day before and we hope that acclimatisation, and the acclimatisation in Miami before, will stand us in good stead."
Hodgson's initial concerns created a great deal of publicity and prompted the mayor of the Amazonian city, Arthur Virgilio, to state he did not want England to come.
The England manager, though, can understand why the competition needs to be played all across the vast football loving nation.
"It is going to very hot in all of those northern cities," Hodgson continued. "Whichever games you have been given in the north would have given you a different problem.
"Manaus is on the edge of the Amazonian rainforest so it does pose a few more problems. But having said that, I can understand the Brazilians wanting to spread the World Cup around all of their major cities and Manaus is a major city in Brazil.
"As far as tourists are concerned, after Rio it might be one of the places everyone wants to go.
"So we should be thankful that we're going to have a chance to see another iconic Brazilian city and get to know it for a few days and hope that the preparation we do in terms of acclimatisation will stand us in good stead for a game against our European counterparts."
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