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.
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:
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.
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".
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".