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England not welcome in Amazon

By AAP .
7 December 2013 12:29PM EST

ENGLAND coach Roy Hodgson has been told that he is not welcome at the Amazon World Cup venue of Manaus after publicly expressing his reservations over the heat and humidity in the Brazilian jungle.

Hours before England were drawn to play Italy there at the World Cup, at least one local -- the city prefect -- was feeling hot under the collar over perceived disparaging comments by the England coach.

Hodgson had raised the temperature by saying in the build-up to the draw at the northeastern beach resort of Costa Do Sauipe that Manaus was to be avoided if possible.

Alas for Hodgson, not only will his Three Lions team take in the sultry delights of the city in the Amazon rainforest but four-time champions and Euro 2012 nemesis Italy will be the opposition.

Manaus prefect Arthur Virgilio Neto said just ahead of Friday's draw that he would rather other teams came to a city more famous for its opera house that its football.

"We prefer that England don't come. We will cheer for a better team coming here with more football and a more sensible and polite coach," said Neto on his Facebook page in comments reported in Friday's Brazilian media.

"He is one of the few people in the world not curious about the Amazon, who doesn't want to know Manaus."

Football Association chairman Greg Dyke was caught by one camera drawing his finger across his throat on hearing the draw had brought England further dangerous opposition in the shape of twice champions Uruguay and Costa Rica.

Hodgson was forced to put a brave face on things.

"There were not going to be many scenarios where we were going to be jumping for joy. I suppose one positive is that we have only got one long trip," he said.

After the draw, he will now have to accommodate an England side which can at least console itself with the fact the match will be an evening kick-off, when the sun has gone down.

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