Defiant Manaus mayor issues invitation to city's critics

Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:08am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Mike Collett

MANAUS, Brazil (Reuters) - The mayor of the World Cup host city described as a "crime-ridden hell-hole" by a British newspaper said its correspondent was badly misinformed and invited critics to come see it for themselves.

Manaus mayor Arthur Virgilio said he was aware of the contents of the story in the Daily Mirror which warned English fans they would be risking their lives by visiting the city where England play Italy in their opening Group D match on June 14.

"I have not read it but I know exactly what is in it," he told reporters in the Amazon state capital where four matches will be played next year.

"I have a great admiration for the United Kingdom and have been to London many times, but I have never had the honor, unfortunately, of reading the Daily Mirror newspaper.

"But whoever wrote the story was very badly misinformed and painted a totally unbalanced view of this city.

"Whoever wrote that story and anyone else who wants to write about Manaus can come and I will show them the good parts as well as the bad."

The other games hosted by Manaus are Cameroon v Croatia, United States v Portugal and Honduras v Switzerland.

Virgilio said, as far as he knew, no media in those countries had described his bustling, modernizing city as a "hell-hole."   Continued...

A workman next to the pitch inside the Arena Amazonia stadium as work continues in preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup soccer championship in Manaus December 10, 2013. The 2014 World Cup finals will be held in Brazil from June 12 through July 13. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn