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SBD Global/October 17, 2013/International Football

England Will Be Based In Rio For World Cup As Fans Face High Prices For Airfare, Hotels

England will set up World Cup home base beachside in Rio.
FA General Secretary Alex Horne has confirmed that England "will be based in Rio de Janeiro for next summer's World Cup finals," according to Graeme Bailey of SKY SPORTS. After securing its place at the tournament with a 2-0 victory over Poland at Wembley on Tuesday, the FA is "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: "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" (SKY SPORTS, 10/16). In London, David Kent reported England will be "situated at the five-star Royal Tulip Hotel." The "plush accommodation boasts 418 rooms spread across 17 floors, overlooking the picturesque views of Sao Conrado Beach or Gavea Stone." The FA chose the Royal Tulip after plans "were revealed for a giant fanzone outside the Windsor Atlantica on Copacabana Beach." But its preferred hotel "is not up to standard and needs a lot of work done to meet the needs of the England team." The facilities at the Urca Military base, where England trained ahead of the friendly in Brazil earlier this summer, "also requires work" (DAILY MAIL, 10/16).

PRICEY TRIP: The BBC's Costas & Mendonca reported as English fans "look for flights and hotel deals, or research prices at local restaurants, they may have a rather unpleasant surprise." Not only has the cost of living "skyrocketed in Brazil in recent years" -- placing Sao Paulo and Rio among the most expensive cities in the world -- but prices "are expected to rise further during the competition." The problem has been "a major cause of concern for some Brazilian authorities involved in the preparations for the Cup, who fear high prices could damage the country's image." On Monday, for instance, after a media report pointed out that some domestic flights during the tournament were 10 times more expensive than flights outside the World Cup dates, the head of the country's tourism board, Embratur, "proposed the adoption of price caps on plane tickets" during the World Cup. Embratur President Flavio Dino "has called for foreign airline companies to be allowed to operate domestic flights in Brazil during the competition." Currently, foreign companies "can own up 20% of airlines operating domestic flights." Both suggestions were "ruled out" by Brazil Civil Aviation Minister Wellington Moreira Franco, but he "promised to ask companies to keep prices to 'reasonable levels'" (BBC, 10/16). In London, Ed Malyon reported within hours, hotel booking website Hotels.com "saw search increases for Rio up 244% through mobile and 93% through the website." The same searches for Sao Paulo had "shot up an astonishing 433% compared to the same time last year." Other cities such as Natal and Brasilia also saw rises of more than 300% as fans "tried to weigh up where to base themselves for next summer's global football showpiece" (MIRROR, 10/16).
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