Brazil extend welcome mat to England

Minas Gerais state secretary Sergio Barroso believes England should be invited to play the opening match in the region’s World Cup stadium.Barroso has extended an olive branch to England following Brazilian Football Association President Ricardo Teixeira’s open hostility toward the country.

Teixeira, the subject of bribery and corruption allegations dating back to the 1990s, was named in a UK parliamentary enquiry accused of seeking favours in exchange for supporting England’s bid for the 2018 World Cup.

Last week he launched a scathing attack on the English FA and promised to obstruct the England team, media and fans during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

But Barroso does not share the views of his countryman, and wishes to see England take on Brazil in the US$442 million-dollar Mineirao World Cup Stadium, set to be completed in December 2012 with a capacity of 65,000.

“We want England to play Brazil in a friendly in the opening match of the new stadium on February 8, 2013 on the recognised date for FIFA friendlies,” Barroso told Reuters.

“We know what Ricardo Teixeira has said about the English, but the opening of the new stadium is more than just what he has said and his view of England. I am speaking to him and I am going to ask him to invite England to play here.

“FIFA says it is all about fair play and the good of the game so let’s see what Mr Teixeira will do about it.”

“England was the birthplace of football and Brazil developed the game and there are very strong links between our two footballing countries.”