Football: England lions not welcome in Amazon jungle

Football: England lions not welcome in Amazon jungle

COSTA DO SAUIPE, Brazil - England coach Roy Hodgson has been told that he is not welcome at the Amazon World Cup venue of Manaus after publically 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-times 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 sensable and polite coach," said Neto on his Facebook page in comments reported in Friday's Brazilian media.

But after the draw Neto promised a cordial reception for the English.

"We shall surprise them with the hospitality of the Amazonian people. They will be very well treated without any hostility," Neto stressed. State governor Omar Aziz also said that "we shall receive them with hospitality and politeness of our people."

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