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Sports Soccer

World Cup teams will deal with humidity

England will play two friendlies in Florida before going to Brazil
FIFA has been asked to change 1 p.m. start times
Some countries make diva-like demands for players

The high temperature peaked at 73 degrees Saturday at Vale do Lobo, Portugal, where England has been training for the World Cup. But chances are it will be above 90 degrees with even higher humidity when the English open World Cup play next month in the jungle city of Manaus.

So Coach Roy Hodgson has his players training in several layers of clothing in an effort to simulate the conditions in Brazil.

"We will have to get used to real heat and humidity," Hodgson told reporters.

The idea, Hodgson said, is for the players to learn "to be comfortable being uncomfortable."

The English will get an even better introduction to humidity when they hold their final World Cup preparations in south Florida, where they will play friendlies against Ecuador and Honduras.

The prospect of heat and high humidity has been a concern of many teams heading to the World Cup. Last week the Brazilian federation of professional athletes filed a lawsuit asking FIFA to change the start times of 24 matches that are scheduled to kick off at 1 p.m. local time. Failing that, the group asked that matches be stopped for two-minute water break each half.

FIFA said it would consider the possibility of breaks on a "match-by-match" basis.

Diva demands

The Ecuadorans want a full basket of bananas delivered from their homeland each day. The Japanese want each of their hotel rooms outfitted with a Jacuzzi and the Chileans are asking for new beds and flat-screen TVs for each of their players.

These are among the demands national federations — who are especially diva-like when the World Cup rolls around —are asking from Brazilian organizers.

World Cup teams will be spread across 27 cities and nine states beginning next month and many hotel operators are scrambling to get the finishing touches completed in time.

The French team wants two types of liquid soap — one for showering and for hands — for each player. They are also demanding each player's room be identical in everything from furniture to paint colors.

One team that won't have to worry about alterations is Germany. That country's national federation is building its own training camp in Bahia, report's England's Daily Mirror, that will consist of 13 houses, 65 rooms, a training field and treatment facilities.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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