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England supporters prepare for adventure

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 07, 2013


It wasn't the best draw England fans could have hoped for...

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The Foreign Office has urged England fans to prepare wisely for next summer's World Cup after they were handed a problematic itinerary at yesterday's draw ceremony in Brazil.

Supporters must travel to the Amazonian city of Manaus to watch their team's opening Group D game against Italy on June 14 – a four-hour flight from Rio.

England boss Roy Hodgson had made no secret of his desire to avoid the venue during the pre-draw build-up, but the Foreign Office's deputy head of consular assistance, Gavin Cook, stressed the city is a welcoming and "adventurous" place with the right preparation.

Cook said: "What we are concerned about is making sure the fans that go to Brazil have a fantastic time."

After facing the Italians, England go to Sao Paulo four days later to take on Uruguay, before finishing the group games against Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte – scene of the infamous 1-0 defeat to the USA in the 1950 World Cup.

World champions Spain will face Holland, the side they beat in the 2010 final, in the group stage of the 2014 finals next summer.

Spain's first game will be against the Dutch in a tough-looking Group B along with Chile and Australia – though perhaps not as difficult as Group G where Germany are up against Portugal, Ghana and the United States.

Hosts Brazil will play Croatia in the opening match of the World Cup in Sao Paulo, while Mexico and Cameroon are the other sides in Group A.

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