Brazil mayor: England 'welcome' in city after Hodgson spat

The mayor of a Brazilian city where England start their World Cup campaign said the Three Lions are "welcome in the Amazon" after a spat with Roy Hodgson. The England manager will tour Manaus later today.

'Ironic' Brazil mayor happy to host Rooney and England

The mayor of the Brazilian city where England will kick off their World Cup campaign has told ITV News he was being "ironic" when he said the team weren't welcome in his region.

Manaus mayor Arthur Virgilio Neto had been responding to Roy Hodgson's claim before the draw that the city was "one to avoid" for its fierce humidity and large distance from England's Rio training base.

But the two men have exchanged pleasantries since and Mr Neto now said England "welcome in the Amazon".

He even declared himself a big fan of Wayne Rooney when speaking to ITV News' Brazil Correspondent Nick Ravenscroft:

Watch: Nick Ravenscroft reports from Manaus' still-under-construction stadium

FIFA's No. 2: Brazil stadium will be ready for England

Fifa General Secretary Jerome Valcke has told ITV News the still-under-construction stadium in Brazil where England will kick off their 2014 World Cup campaign against Italy will be ready for the tournament.

The Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, which is still under construction, is scheduled to host England's opener against Italy on 14 June. Credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Mr Valcke was among a group of football officials meeting the media at the venue in Manaus, which will today be visited by England boss Roy Hodgson and FA officials.

Hodgson will be introduced to the Brazilian officials with whom he fell out over his comments - made before England were drawn to play there - that the humid city was a "place to avoid".

Roy Hodgson has patched up relations with Manaus officials after his pre-draw comments about the city. Credit: Adam Davy/PA Wire

Hodgson has since written to the mayor of Manaus saying his team's visit to the city will be "one of the highlights of the tournament".

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Brazil mayor to 'welcome England' after Hodgson spat

The mayor of the Brazilian city where England will kick off their World Cup campaign has played down a spat with manager Roy Hodgson and declared the Three Lions "welcome in the Amazon".

Manaus mayor Arthur Virgilio Neto had originally said England were "not welcome" after Hodgson described the humid city as a "place to avoid" before FIFA's draw was made.

The England boss, who is today visiting the city's still-in-construction stadium, has since apologised and Mr Neto told ITV News the squabble was "just a misunderstanding".

ITV News' Brazil Correspondent Nick Ravenscroft reports from Manaus:

Read: Hodgson makes amends after Manaus comments