on camera jokingly draw his finger across his neck after the England were drawn in a group of death for next summer’s World Cup.
Roy Hodgson, who are once nearly quit football to become a travel agent, will now have to plot a difficult course around Brazil in a group which will involve an odyssey of thousands of miles for players and fans, and matches against the Italy, Uruguay and the Costa Rica.
England will kick off in the heat of Amazonian jungle in Manaus, where they will play Italy in their 1st match on 14 June at a 2am UK time. UK broadcast is unlikely to be pleased.
Nor will the mayor of the Manaus, deep in heart of the rainforest. He had responded to the Hodgsons pre-draw verdict that he would rather avoid the heat of his city saying England would not be welcome.
From there, England will go to play Luis Suárez and Uruguay in São Paulo on 19 June, followed by the Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte on 24 June in what is likely to be a must-win fixture.
The Costa Ricans and the Italians immediate dubbed group D the death group Sir Geoff Hurst, in 1966 World Cup hero who played a real role in the draw, joked on Twitter that he might not allowed home.
It is going to be quite difficult to keep a positive spin on the quality of our opponents. Even the Costa Rica might be the least known but they are a very strong team,” said to Hodgson. “I am still so positive about the whole affair.
Fewer than ten thousand England fans are expected to tour in Brazil for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of following a World Cup in the home of the beautiful game, owing to the higher cost of hotel rooms and flights.
But for those dreaming of the sun, samba and a fanatical home support that will be demanding that the Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team objection their sixth World Cup, the detailed planning can begin for a tournament FIFA president Sepp Blatter promised would be “the most famous of all time”.
The hosts will kick off the World Cup against Croatia on 12 June in São Paulo and will be also face Mexico and Cameroon. Holders Spain was also drawn in the toughest group in the Netherlands, Chile and the Australia.
The draw took place in a cavernous temporarily tented hall in a five-star beach resort in Bahia, 76km from the Salvador on the northeast coast of the vast country.
Three thousand guests and members of the media, the obligatory armies of blazer clad FIFA functionaries and the friendly volunteers flooded the venue, while delegations to the 32 teams who had qualified awaited their fate.
The remote location had the effect of keeping away potential protesters after the Confederations Cup dry run saw more than 1million Brazilians take to the streets to protest against underinvestment in public services at a time when £2bn is being spent on new stadiums.
In a about two-hour show Blatter appeared alongside the Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff, and paid the tribute to Nelson Mandela, describe him as “the famous humanist in the world” and calling on Brazilians to the rally behind the tournament – “please come on together, join each because it’s the game for you”.
The run up to the draw has been overshadowed by the delays to the construction of some of the stadiums, most importantly at the São Paulo venue which will host the World Cup opener on 12 June.