2014 Fifa World Cup: England opener kick-off time changed

World Cup Weather

England's opening match of the 2014 Fifa World Cup against Italy has been brought forward three hours.

Roy Hodgson's side were scheduled to face the four-time world champions on 15 June at 02:00 BST, but the game will now kick-off at 23:00 BST on 14 June.

Fifa heard representations from a number of parties, including broadcasters ITV, BBC and RAI before deciding to move the kick-off time.

Seven matches, in four venues, have been adjusted following the draw.

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England had no influence in changing the kick-off time but Club England managing director Adrian Bevington suggested the original kick-off time of 02:00 BST (21:00 local time) was better because of the cooler temperature.

The heat is a potential problem for both England and Italy, with temperatures reaching 30 degrees Celsius during the day, while humidity can be as high as 80%.

"Playing at 21:00 in Manaus is clearly helpful from our side and from a football point of view," said Bevington.

"We can't deny that it's better to play in Manaus later in the day."

England should know plenty about Italy and their style of play having lost on penalties to them in last year's European Championship before beating them 2-1 later that summer in a friendly.

Hodgson is more concerned about preparations for facing Uruguay in their second group match and is eager to arrange a friendly with a South American side to mirror the threat they will face from Luis Suarez and his team-mates in San Paulo on June 20.

Their last encounter with a South American side ended in a 2-0 defeat to Chile at Wembley last month, but Hodgson is eager to arrange a similar test before the World Cup.

"We always knew there was a good chance of getting a South American opponent," Hodgson told BBC's Football Focus.

"It will be important for us now in our planning to try and get some games where we get a chance to play against these short-passing technical players, so at least we don't come into the tournament totally unprepared."

England have two opportunities to face South American opposition before the World Cup with a free slot at the end of May in their final friendly on home soil before the tournament.

Their opponents for their first game of their two-match tour of the USA in June are also yet to be named with Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia and Paraguay - none of whom qualified for the World Cup - all possible candidates.

The following games' kick-off times have been adjusted (all times stated are in BST):

Saturday, 14 June

Ivory Coast v Japan, 02:00 (from 23:00) in Recife

England v Italy, 23:00 (from 02:00) in Manaus

Wednesday, 18 June

Cameroon v Croatia, 23:00 (from 20:00) in Manaus

Spain v Chile, 20:00 (from 23:00) in Rio de Janeiro

Sunday, 22 June

United States v Portugal, 23:00 (from 20:00) in Manaus

Belgium v Russia, 17:00 (from 23:00) in Rio de Janeiro

South Korea v Algeria, 20:00 (from 17:00) in Porto Alegre