By Erik Kirschbaum
SANTO ANDRE, Brazil, June 23 (Reuters) - Germany rejected criticism on Monday from U.S. coach Juergen Klinsmann that FIFA deliberately scheduled matches and locations to benefit favourites because the Germans have an extra day to recover ahead of Thursday's clash.
Assistant coach Hansi Flick also dismissed Klinsmann's argument that the U.S. had a longer journey to their second Group G match in Manaus, but sidestepped whether the top seeds in the draw got preferential treatment in the scheduling.
"The match schedule was known to everyone before the draw and no one complained at the time," Flick said when asked about Klinsmann's complaint on Sunday that Germany had an extra day of rest ahead of their match on Thursday - and shorter distances to travel to their first two matches in Salvador and Fortaleza.
Those locations are a one-hour and two-hour flight, respectively, north along the Atlantic coast from Germany's training camp in Santo Andre. The U.S. are based in Sao Paulo and had to fly four hours to the Amazonian city of Manaus.
"We picked the location for our base camp after the draw," Flick said. "Every team had the chance to put their base camp wherever they wanted to put it so that they would only have to travel or fly as few kilometres as possible. That's why we put our base camp here where it is."
Germany have an extra day to rest and prepare for their Group G showdown on Thursday in Recife after playing out a 2-2 draw on Saturday afternoon in Fortaleza while the United States played to a 2-2 draw on Sunday night against Portugal in Manaus.
Klinsmann, who coached Germany from 2004 to 2006 and led them to third place at the 2006 World Cup, said on Monday the Germans would definitely have an advantage over his team with an extra day to recover and shorter travel distance to Recife.
"Germany played yesterday and so have more time to recover, we played in the Amazon and they haven't had to travel much," said thef former striker, who also captained Germany, scoring 47 goals in 108 matches and played in three World Cups.
"Everything has been made easy for the favourites, whereas we have to struggle to go through, but that is what we will do." (Editing by Ken Ferris)