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Hodgson looking to build bridges on Manaus visit

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 by Goal.com

The England manager has travelled to the edge of the Amazon to smooth relations after offending the city's mayor in the run-up to the World Cup draw

With four months until England begin their World Cup campaign against Italy, Roy Hodgson has flown to Brazil to build bridges with the people of Manaus.

Prior to the draw for the finals Hodgson described the city as ideally "a place to avoid" because of its hot and humid climate and the fact it is a four-hour flight from England's base in Rio.

Arthur Virgilio Neto, mayor of Manaus, took offence and called Hodgson "uneducated" before insisting England were "not welcome" in his city.

And the Three Lions boss was forced to eat his words when the draw condemned his side to face Italy in their Group D opener at the Arena Amazonia before taking on Uruguay and Costa Rica.

Since then the Football Association have taken steps to make amends, with Hodgson writing to Neto to make clear that he is looking forward to kicking off England's World Cup campaign in Manaus.

And the charm offensive appears to have worked, with Neto telling Sky News that the episode was nothing more than a "misunderstanding", and stressing he is looking forward to hosting England.

Bridging the gap |  Hodgson goes to great lengths to charm Manaus

Enjoying the view | Hodgson surveys the landscape in which his World Cup campaign will begin

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