England football 'WAGs' to invade South Beach

Last updated 10:35 28/02/2014
Theo Walcott
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POWER COUPLE: England striker Theo Walcott with wife Melanie Slade.

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Miami, get ready for the England WAGs.

Roy Hodgson will allow his England players to bring their partners to Miami before the team heads to Brazil for the World Cup.

But Hodgson will be keen to avoid the Biscayne Bay area being the scene for a repeat of past escapades involving England players' wives and girlfriends. The so-called WAGs dominated headlines at the 2006 World Cup with their glammed-up trips and high-jinx in the German town where England was based.

But after the WAGs maintained a graceful, low-key presence at the 2012 European Championship, they will be allowed to link up with the players at England's pre-World Cup base at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami in June.

"I have suggested to the players the wives can come for the latter part of the stay there," Hodgson said on Thursday (local time).

Adopting a softer stance than predecessor Fabio Capello, Hodgson will let the players decide whether the WAGs can follow them to the World Cup.

"When it comes to Brazil we haven't made any hard and fast rules, it will be up to the players to decide," Hodgson said.

A key concern, though, for the players and fans will be safety in Brazil with anti-government protests, which often turn violent, still springing up in parts of the country having initially started during the Confederations Cup last year.

"It's important they understand what issues there are likely to be in terms of security, in terms of their wives coming," Hodgson said. "Then, if they make a decision to bring their wives it will be with the full facts at their disposal."

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- AP

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