FIFA have released the dates and venues for the matches of the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil, with the patience of traveling supporters set to be tested once again.
Instead of keeping group games within a couple of venues located close to one-another, as used to be the norm, fans will face trips of up to 2,000 miles in order to watch all of their nation's opening clashes.
One unlucky Group A team will begin in Sao Paulo, then trek 1,680 miles (2,700 km) up to Manaus, before an odyssey of 3,538 miles (5,698km) across the Amazon to Recife, a voyage one team from Group D and another from Group G must also endure. Even the hosts are not spared, with the seleçao kicking off in Sao Paulo before flying 1465 miles (2357km) to Fortaleza and then making another journey of 1042 miles (1677km) to Brasilia.
The explanation for clocking-up so many air miles, according to the organising committee, is the varying weather, with the south of Brazil much cooler than the north.
"The climate is so different you do not want to give an advantage to one country over another," said Head of Operations Ricardo Trade.
The semi-finals will take place in Belo Horizonte's Estadio Mineirao (70,000) and Sao Paulo's Novo Estadio do Corinthians (68,000), with the final in Rio's renovated Maracana (85,000) on the 13th of July 2014.
Starting times for matches will be 1700, 1900, 2300 and 0200 GMT.
Brazil will kick-off the whole shebang in Sao Paolo on Thursday the 12th of June 2014.
(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile
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