England to travel early to the Amazon
Despite describing playing a group game in Manaus as “not ideal”, England manager Roy Hodgson is now embracing the idea of playing deep in the Amazon jungle and is planning a fact-finding mission in February.
England will play their opening Group D match against Italy on 14 June in the Amazonian capital and will face a 1,350 mile round-trip from their chosen base in Rio. Temperatures in Manaus often reach 30C whilst humidity can be higher than 80%.
"I think most teams were rather hoping they were drawn in places where the climate is more favourable. On the other hand, I understand the Brazilians want to spread this World Cup around the country and Manaus is a very important town and city in Brazil,” Hodgson told the FA’s official website.
"We've already decided that we'll go with the team [to Manaus] two days before, not the usual one day before. 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.”
"As far as tourists are concerned, after Rio it might be one of the places everyone wants to go,” added the former Switzerland, UAE and Finland boss.