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World Cup 2014 schedule revealed

FOOTBALL'S COMING HOME: Brazil stage the next World Cup

WORLD CUP hosts Brazil will open the 2014 tournament on Thursday June 12 in Sao Paulo, after organisers revealed the match schedule for football’s biggest showcase.

Group matches will kick-off at 5pm, 8pm, 11pm and even 2am UK time, which is good news for pubs and clubs planning to show the games, and for viewers across Europe who will find the majority of games in prime-time.

Brazil will play in the world famous Maracana in Rio de Janeiro only if they reach the final on July 13, but the historic venue will stage six other games including a round-of-16 game and a quarter-final. The semi-finals will be at Belo Horizonte and Sao Paulo.

Any team reaching the later stages will have faced huge amounts of travel after organisers abandoned plans to base nations in single venues to reduce travel times.

The change means all 12 venues will host a top-seeded team, but huge distances will be involved as a result.

The second team in Brazil’s group will travel at least 2,600 miles between group games in Sao Paulo, Recife and Manaus, in the Amazon jungle.

Teams facing long journeys will have four days off between matches.

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