The 2014 World Cup draw may not even have taken place yet, but guess what? England have already managed not to win friends and influence people.
The mayor of Manaus, one of the host cities for the tournament, is hoping that England won't be picked to play there—and he's not at all happy with manager Roy Hodgson, hoping instead for someone who is "more sensible and polite."
He is quoted in the Guardian:
We would also prefer that England doesn't come. We hope to get a better team and a coach who is more sensible and polite. He's one of the few people in the world who is not curious about the Amazon, who doesn't want to know about Manaus.
Why is Arthur Virgilio so upset with Hodgson?
Whatever criticisms have been levelled at the 66-year-old England boss, a lack of diplomacy and politeness is not one of them.
This goes back to Hodgson's comments about England's World Cup prospects hinging less on the opponents that they are drawn against and more on the location of their matches.
Again from the Guardian, Hodgson explained:
The tropical nature of Manaus is the problem. Manaus is the place ideally to avoid and Porto Alegre is the place ideally to get. Manaus will be a difficult venue for everyone, including the Argentinians, Chileans and Colombians, but for northern European players it will be a little bit harder.
It doesn't sound like Hodgson is anti-Amazon so much as just trying to help his team do as well as they can in a World Cup. Perhaps he'd try it as a holiday destination one day in his retirement.
Still, he'd better not let the mayor know he's coming.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!