England confirm Rio base

The Football Association's general secretary Alex Horne has confirmed to Sky Sports that England will be based in Rio de Janeiro for next summer's World Cup finals.

Last Updated: 16/10/13 at 20:33 Post Comment

After securing their place at the tournament with a 2-0 victory over Poland at Wembley on Tuesday, the FA are wasting no time in putting their plans in place for the finals.

And Horne has confirmed that they already know their training base will be in Rio, with their home during this summer's Confederations Cup - the five-star Royal Tulip Hotel on Sao Conrado Beach - the most the likely destination.

Horne told Sky Sports News: "The draw is not until December 6th, but we have made plans already, we have discussed where we are going to stay with FIFA.

"You have to be ahead of the game on this, FIFA nominate hotels and training grounds and we have been and done our homework and we have selected where were are going to be based in Brazil and that will be in Rio."

Part of the preparations for the summer showpiece will be a series of friendlies, in November, May and just before the finals in June.

The first is hoped to be against Germany, subject to the FA's confirmation. Uruguay had been pencilled in to to be the second visitors in a week to Wembley, but they will now take part in the World Cup play-offs and the FA hope to arrange alternative opponents.

The FA then hope to finalise a friendly against the USA in Miami ahead of the finals next summer.

"We are planning on two friendlies here [Wembley] in November to celebrate with the fans before we go to Rio and then another friendly in March here, then one at the end of May before we play two warm-up games overseas before going to Brazil," Horne added.

Breathe easy

Horne admits that qualifying for the finals is a something of a relief to the FA.

"From our perspective, it allows us to breathe easy," he said.

"We always planned to be in Brazil - all our budgets, our four-year plans, all our conversations with sponsors all plan on us being in Brazil, that is the expectation we set ourselves.

"And of course we don't always do it - we didn't in 2008 - but we always plan positively like that and so there is a bit of a sigh of relief and a real sense of something to look forward to right across the FA.

"It is a great day for English football, it is a great day for us at the FA, we put in a lot of work to go through a whole campaign, and for it to boil down to the last game at Wembley - what a game, it was an incredible atmosphere.

"The players were brilliant - I am not sure Poland had read the script, it was meant to be easier than that, but them playing like that made it a phenomenal occasion and we could not be happier - we are on our way to Brazil."

Horne also took time to praise England manager Roy Hodgson, who had taken some criticism during the campaign.

"As one of the guys who appointed Roy, I am delighted, I am really pleased for Roy and delighted with the appointment," Horne continued.

"He has worked hard, worked diligently, he has his coaching staff around him and he had his vision of what he wanted to achieve.

"He hasn't always had the luck of players being available to him - but we are unbeaten in the qualification group, we are top of the group and my deepest congratulations to Roy."

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