COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil (AP) - Go Home, England!
The mayor of the Brazilian city of Manaus says England will not be welcome during the World Cup because coach Roy Hodgson said the jungle city is the place to avoid next year.
Manaus Mayor Arthur Virgilio said Thursday he hopes the luck of the draw Friday will keep the English team from playing in his city. Friday's draw will determine who and where each of the 32 teams will play next June and July.
Virgilio said in a statement: "We hope to get a better team and a coach who is more sensible and polite."
Hodgson told English media earlier this week that he was more worried about the venues than about the opponents. He said "the tropical nature of Manaus is the problem. I'm just mouthing what everybody has been saying to me."
"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."
Hodgson told English media earlier this week that he was more worried about the venues than about the opponents, and that the weather will be "problematic" for all teams, especially the ones in northern Europe.
It will be winter in Brazil during next year's World Cup, but conditions in Manaus are usually hot and humid throughout the year. Porto Alegre, meanwhile, is located in the southern region of the country, where temperatures are much cooler.
"You have a better chance if you get one of the venues where the climate is kinder," Hodgson said.
Virgilio said Hogson was just making excuses.
"To make excuses shows lack of enthusiasm and self-confidence," Virgilio said. "Fortunately the English people are different than Mr. Hodgson. It's polite to be able to value what is beautiful. And nothing is more beautiful and instigating than Amazonia, (the state of) Amazonas, and Manaus."
Follow Tales Azzoni at http://twitter.com/tazzoni