Construction on the Arena Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil. (Getty)
Earlier this week, England manager Roy Hodgson voiced concerns about the 2014 World Cup venues that many participants are likely to share. "There are venues in Brazil that will be harder to play in than others," he told the press, adding that he will be more concerned by the venues than the other teams at the draw on Friday.
He singled out the tropical and distant host city of Manuas as one venue that could cause teams added trouble and now the mayor of Manaus has decided he doesn't want England in his town anyway.
2014 World Cup host cities. (FIFA.com)
From the AP:
Virgilio said in a statement: ''We hope to get a better team and a coach who is more sensible and polite.'' [...]
''We would also prefer that England doesn't come,'' Virgilio said. ''We hope to get a better team and a coach who is more sensible and polite. He's one of the few people in the world who is not curious about the Amazon, who doesn't want to know Manaus.''
To be fair, Hodgson never said he wasn't curious about the Amazon or that he didn't have a desire to visit Manaus. He just has reservations about his team possibly traveling a long distance and playing in a hot and humid climate while other teams enjoy more mild and convenient venues.
Manaus will host four group-stage matches — one in Group A, D, E and G. If England end up in any of those matches, Hodgson might have to smile his way through a couple of rainforest tours to make nice.
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