Manaus stadium built for the heat, says sports secretary
By Football News
Manaus' sports secretary has declared England and Italy should have no issues with the heat in his city for their World Cup opener.
Before the draw for Brazil 2014, England manager Roy Hodgson declared he did not care who his team would have to face next year but he simply did not want to have to play in Manaus, which is situated in the Amazon forest.
In June, when England will take on Italy at the Arena Amazonia, the average daily high is 31 degrees Celsius with 83 per cent humidity.
But Manaus' sports secretary Fabricio Lima has argued the two European teams should not have too many worries with their match set to kick off at 10pm local time, even though the average low in June is still a rather warm 23 degrees.
"They will not face difficulties because we have warmth," Lima said on Friday.
"The stadium has excellent conditions, the game will be during the night and it is not so hot. I'm sure they will adapt to this, it's a World Cup and they need to be prepared to play in any climate and any circumstance.
"I don't have any doubt, they will love the city and they will be welcomed in a way that they never were received in their whole life, our people are very hospitable, educated and are waiting for this World Cup like no one in this country."
After Hodgson's initial comments, Manaus' mayor Arthur Virgilio responded angrily that he hoped England were sent somewhere else and that his city would get coaches who were 'more sensible and polite'.
But Lima has claimed the spat has now been cleared up.
"I'm sure the English manager will eat a good fish with us and this situation will be sealed, even inside our families there are misunderstandings and after, the friendship gets stronger," Lima said.
"This moment will pass; it was an unhappy declaration from the manager.
"Manaus is the green capital of the world, we have 98 per cent of our forest completely preserved, we have passion about the environment and also we will have a crowded stadium with more than 40,000 people watching a great football match because England are an excellent team."