The mayor of Manaus said Roy Hodgson was not welcome in his city after the England boss admitted the Three Lions wanted to avoid the Amazonas capital.
Hodgson though, is unlikely to be concerned with Brazilian politics after England were dropped in Group D – picked by Sir Geoff Hurst – and landed a game with Italy in Manaus in northern Brazil.
A difficult World Cup group was topped with Uruguay and Costa Rica resonates more than Arthur Virgilio’s comments of wanting a “more sensible and polite” coach after Hodgson’s eagerness to miss Manaus.
Expectation is low and it dropped even further immediately after the draw with England drifting out with the bookies from 25-1 to a rank outsider at 40-1 this afternoon.
Uruguay have never lost a World Cup game against England while the Three Lions have not played Costa Rica, Scotland’s conquerors at Italia ’90.
Those games will be played in Sao Paolo and Belo Horizonte respectively – not as problematic as their clash with Italy on June 15.
The game in Manaus is at least between two nations not used to 80 per cent humidity. The average temperature is around 35 degrees and has a 40 per cent chase of thunderstorms in June.
Manaus is 2,659 miles from Rio – where England are expected to be based – and, not only that, fans will be forced to stay up until the small hours with the game kicking off at 2am GMT.
Let the countdown commence.