• World Cup

England kick-off time moved by FIFA

ESPN staff
December 7, 2013
Roy Hodgson and Cesare Prandelli are unlikely to be smiling when England and Italy kick-off at 6pm local time in the stifling humidity of Manaus © Getty Images

England have had the kick-off time for their opening World Cup match against Italy in Manaus brought forward three hours to appease TV broadcasters.

Roy Hodgson's team were handed a tough first trip on June 14 in the sweltering heat of Manaus - a jungle city, which lies right in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, experiences temperatures of more than 30 degrees centigrade, and humidity levels are expected to exceed 80 percent.

England were due to kick off against Italy at 9pm local time - with temperatures will be lower than during the day - but broadcasters wanted the time moved as it would be 2am the following morning in the UK and 3am in Italy. It has now been brought forward three hours to be 6pm which is 11pm UK time and 12am Italian. FIFA claim the new kick-off time will have "similar conditions" as the previous one.

FIFA chief Sepp Blatter said on Tuesday that none of the game times would be changed but has had to back down and Club England managing director Adrian Bevington insisted the situation was not in England's hands, nor one that really helped the side.

He said: "That's something for TV and FIFA and we have no control over it. But playing at 9pm in Manaus is clearly helpful from our side and from a football point of view. We can't deny that it's better to play in Manaus later in the day.''

FIFA have also adjusted kick-off times for seven other matches. Unlike with England against Italy, two other matches in Manaus - Cameroon v Croatia and USA v Portugal - have been put back instead of being brought forward.

Adjusted kick-off times (local):

Saturday June 14
Côte d'Ivoire-Japan, 22:00 (from 19:00) in Recife
England-Italy, 18:00 (from 21:00) in Manaus

Wednesday June 18
Cameroon-Croatia, 18:00 (from 15:00) in Manaus
Spain-Chile, 16:00 (from 19:00) in Rio de Janeiro

Sunday June 22
USA-Portugal, 18:00 (from 15:00) in Manaus
Belgium-Russia, 13:00 (from 19:00) in Rio de Janeiro
Korea Republic-Algeria, 16:00 (from 13:00) in Porto Alegre

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