Foreign Secretary William Hague, currently on a three-day visit to Brazil, joined on Tuesday with England manager Roy Hodgson in Manaus to promote the Foreign Office’s ‘Be on the Ball’ campaign and FCO's preparations for World Cup 2014.
The visit to the Amazonia Arena stadium in Manaus also highlighted preparations by the Foreign Office network in Brazil to provide consular assistance to thousands of travelling fans from the UK this summer.
“I am here in Manaus to discuss the preparations for hosting the England Team. I know that British fans will get a great welcome here. Many people may not know that looking after British nationals abroad is one of the main responsibilities of the Foreign Office, said Hague at a joint press conference with Manaus mayor Amazonino Mendes and Amazonia governor, Omar Aziz.
“We help tens of thousands of people each year who get into some form of difficulty overseas.
Hague added that in four months times thousands of British nationals will travel to Brazil for the World Cup, possibly the largest number of British people to ever visit Brazil at one time, and I have no doubt that Brazil will host a fantastic World Cup, and we expect the vast majority of British visitors to have a trouble-free visit.
Hague pledged that the Foreign Office will leave nothing to chance.
Brazil is seven times the size of South Africa, the last country to host the World Cup. So we will have Foreign Office teams on the ground in every city where England has a game; we are reinforcing our Embassy staff with consular colleagues from around the region and have further staff on standby, including from our Embassy in Portugal.
The Foreign Secretary also pointed out that we have an excellent website providing World Cup Travel advice; we will be using social media to provide instantaneous advice and respond to queries; and we will work with the FA and the Football Supporters Federation to provide information on travelling in Brazil.
Finally, we want to help visitors prepare, so that they can enjoy their visit to this marvellous country and hopefully see England perform brilliantly as well.