Hodgson hoping for ‘Happy Harbour’ of the south

Tuesday 03 Dec 2013
The draw begins at 4.30pm on Friday 6 December

England manager Roy Hodgson has said that the climate and logistical challenges presented by an unfavourable World Cup draw can be just as testing as being paired with some of the tournament favourites.

The draw – which takes place in Costa do Sauipe, Bahia in the east of Brazil – could throw up the possibility of England being placed in a group based in Manaus, where June temperatures and humidity can reach sweltering levels during the day.

At the other end of the scale, the Three Lions may find themselves based in the southern city of Porto Alegre, where the conditions are more comparable to a European climate.

Arena Beira Rio in Porto Alegre

Arena Beira Rio in Porto Alegre

He said: "The venues worry me more than the opponents. I think there's definitely going to be climatic conditions which will be problematic for all the teams but not least the northern European sides.

“Manaus I think it would be a difficult venue for everybody – Argentinians, Brazilians, Chileans and Colombians alike - don’t get me wrong, but for northern European players I think it would be a little bit harder. 

Hodgson also outlined the benefits of getting a favourable draw – highlighting the southern city of Porto Alegre as a preferable location. 

The city, Portuguese for ‘Happy Harbour’ is significantly milder throughout the year. It has an average annual temperature of 19.5C and significantly lower humidity levels than Manaus, where levels can reach 99% in June.

Estádio Vivaldo Lima in Manaus

Estádio Vivaldo Lima in Manaus


"The tropical nature of Manaus is the problem,” he added. “I'm not an expert on the venue but I'm just mouthing what everybody has been saying to me. Manaus is the place ideally to avoid and Porto Alegre is the place ideally to get. 

“Whatever happens though, it won’t and can’t be an excuse.”

Hodgson travels to Brazil on Tuesday evening, and will be joined by an FA delegation including Chairman Greg Dyke, General Secretary Alex Horne and Club England Manager Director Director Adrian Bevington – ahead of Friday’s draw.

The draw will begin at 4.30pm UK time and will be streamed live on FIFA.com.

By Jamie Reid Senior Writer