Hodgson: I won't 'imprison' England players

Roy Hodgson has assured his players they will be allowed to enjoy the sights of Rio despite concerns over safety in the city.


Three years ago, some England squad members were unhappy at being located in their remote camp in Rustenburg.

Hodgson took the advice of Sir Trevor Brooking and ditched that approach for Euro 2012, when England's players stopped in the centre of Krakow and regularly mixed with the local population.

Doubts were raised about the possibility of England doing the same in Brazil when the country's sports minister said Rio, along with Sao Paulo and Salvador, would be targeted by violent thugs.

England were based right by the Copacabana for the friendly against Brazil in June, but they hope to base themselves in the Royal Tulip, which is located on the quieter Sao Conrado beach instead.

"Security is an issue, but I would like to think they won't be imprisoned in the hotel," the England manager said.

"It's important you don't divorce yourself totally from the rest of life. There will be other things for them (to do).

"There are more chances of having a stroll along the beach at Sao Conrado than the Copacabana or Ipanema beach.

"That would have been a difficult stroll there. Sao Conrado is quieter. It looks the same but slightly less hotels."

Players will have a chance to take a break from football by playing on the nearby Gavea golf course while two shopping centres are also within walking distance.

Hodgson spent a night in the Tulip this week before heading to Salvador for Friday's World Cup draw.

He also visited the Urca military base where England trained prior to a friendly in the Maracana in June.

England have been promised the base again next summer if they confirm they will stay in Rio.

The pitch will have to be relaid but, other than that, Hodgson feels the base is perfect.

"It is fine," said Hodgson, who has now visited Urca three times.

"The pitch is something the FA is dealing with. It will be perfect by the time we get there."

There is a small possibility that England will have to move their base north should they have to play in the north.

Manaus, deep in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, is a four-hour flight away from Rio and there is concern that such extensive travelling could take its toll on the players, who will have already had a long hard season before they pack their bags for Brazil.

Hodgson would not confirm that plans are afoot for England to change their base if they end up playing in the north, but he would not rule it out either.

"We're open to all things," he said.

"I hope we don't have to change the Rio base because the Rio base is a very good one.

"We have spent a lot of time on that, both on the choice of hotel and in particular the choice of training ground. So it would be a pity if we've got to move, but we've got an open mind at the moment."

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