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Hodgson changes World Cup WAG rules

England boss Roy Hodgson has changed his plans over an official trip for players' wives, families and girlfriends to the World Cup warm-up camp in Miami at the start of June.

Wives and girlfriends of English players chatting in the VIP-area before the Second Round England v Ecuador game in the 2006 World Cup. Credit: Ronald Wittek/DPA/Press Association Images

It had been planned that time would be set aside for the 'WAGs' - wives and girlfriends - after the first friendly against Ecuador on 4th June.

It has now emerged the players will instead fly to Miami on 1st June, a day later than originally planned, with that time being given over to the families.

The Football Association's original plan had been to organise a visit for the families to Florida, but it is understood that will now not take place.

The timetable will now see England play Peru at Wembley on 30th May, have the following day with their families and then join up again with the squad on 1st June to fly to Miami.

Hodgson, however, will not ban players from making their own arrangements for their families or partners to travel to Miami or after that to Brazil, but any time spent together then will have to fit in with training and match schedules, and any other England duties.

The whole issue of the WAGs has been controversial since the 2006 World Cup, when there was criticism that the high-profile antics of players' loved ones at the Baden Baden base was a distraction for the team.

Hodgson may use psychologist to avoid penalty pain

Roy Hodgson said he may use a psychologist to prevent England experiencing more penalty heartache at this summer's World Cup in Brazil.

England have lost six out of their seven shoot-outs at major tournaments, with Hodgson's side losing on penalties against Italy at Euro 2012.

Roy Hodgson has said he is considering using a psychologist to help England avoid more penalty heartbreak. Credit: PA Wire

"I'm not averse to using a psychologist," Hodgson told Sky Sports.

"We are considering, with Adrian's [Bevington] help, the possibility of inviting someone with us but I think it's very important they're someone who is part of the group. I'm not sure just suddenly shipping someone in to give the players a lecture would work.

"We have some confident penalty-takers, but others less confident and it's how we get to them," the England manager added.

For all the build up to the tournament visit ITV Sport's World Cup site


Hodgson visits Brazil to assess World Cup conditions

Roy Hodgson is visiting Brazil to assess the conditions and facilities for England's first World Cup game against Italy.

The England manager said conditions should be "no more testing" than when he coached Switzerland at the World Cup in Detroit twenty years ago.

Amid worries over the timely and safe completion of the stadium in Manaus, Hodgson said he had "every faith" in FIFA to do "everything they can and need to do to get the games played as they should be played."

'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:

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".

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:


Hodgson and Manaus make up ahead of World Cup

Roy Hodgson has attempted to make amends with the city of Manaus ahead of the World Cup following a public spat with the mayor last December.

The England manager previously said that Manaus, renowned for its heat and humility, was the place to avoid during the World Cup, much to the annoyance of mayor Arthur Birgilo who released a statement saying England would not be welcome.

With England due to face Italy in the opening game in Manaus, Hodgson attempted to defuse the row by writing a letter to the city's governor Omar Aziz.

Roy Hodgson has attempted to make amends with the city of Manaus. Credit: PA Wire

Hodgson said he was looking forward to experiencing the city to learn more about the culture, history and people of Manaus, in what promises to be "one of the highlights of the tournament" for England.

Officials said they were now planning a warm reception for the England team when they arrive in June.

For the latest World Cup news visit ITV Sport's World Cup site

Hodgson speaks to Walcott about knee injury

The England manager Roy Hodgson has revealed he has spoken to Theo Walcott after the Arsenal forward was ruled out for at least six months with a knee injury, meaning he will miss the World Cup in Brazil.

He told the FA's website:

I spoke with Theo and just wanted to express my disappointment to him.

It is a blow for him personally of course, and for both Arsenal and England.

We had quite a lengthy conversation and it is such a shame that we have lost a player of his calibre for the World Cup, he has been incredibly unfortunate and we wish him a speedy recovery.

Having worked with him for two years as England Manager I know the character he has, and I know he will come back even stronger from this setback.

Hodgson: Where in Rio is there not a favela up the road?

Roy Hodgson has dismissed safety fears surrounding next year's World Cup in Brazil.

Hodgson shrugged off concerns over the proximity of England's training camp to a favela saying: "Where in Rio is there not a favela up the road?".

The England manager said he had every "faith" that Fifa and the Brazilian government would ensure the safety of players and fans.

For the latest World Cup news, visit ITV Sport

Hodgson wants to keep players in 'family environment'

Roy Hodgson has said he plans to keep England's players in a normal family environment until the pressures of the World Cup begin.

England players' partners became a controversial feature of the 2006 World Cup, with critics arguing their presence became a distraction, but Hodgson said he intends to allow the players to see their families.

Hodgson admitted the training pitch needed to be improved "enormously", but insisted he was generally very happy with the state of the training facilities and the surrounding area.

For the latest World Cup news visit ITV Sport

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