England have qualified for the World Cup which is great news for football fans. But one Morecambe couple are celebrating just that little bit harder.
Alan and Jo Lingwood run a bed and breakfast in Brazil, home of next summer’s tournament, and they are expecting to be busy.
Thousands of English will descend on the South American country to enjoy football’s greatest show on earth, looking for somewhere to stay.
The Lingwoods hope they will choose their five-bedroomed B&B Brisas Itamaraca, located on a quiet paradise island off the north east coast of Brazil.
In 2006, Alan and Jo bought two houses on the Isla de Itamaraca in the Atlantic Ocean, paying £120,000.
Alan, who runs Heysham security firm Lingwood Security, loves Brazil so much he wanted to spend more time there and get some work, so they converted one house into the B&B.
Now they stay in Brazil for half the year.
“There are a lot of business opportunities out there,” said Jo, company secretary for Lingwood Security.
“Brazilians don’t trust each other. It’s corrupt. They are behind the times. Alan has contacts out there for security for the 2016 Olympics. He’s also talked to FIFA about doing some consultancy work for the World Cup.
“It’s going to be unbelievable during the World Cup. You know what football is like with Brazilians. It’s all they talk about.
“And everyone loves to party.”
Alan, Jo and their family love spending time at the colourful carnivals which bring life and happiness to Brazil’s streets.
And while the dank nights draw in here in Morecambe, Jo and Alan will enjoy six months of sizzling sunshine in the Brazilian summer.
“Alan loves it, he wants to retire here,” said Jo. But she still has concerns about next summer’s tournament being held in Brazil.
“FIFA put it there because Brazil is the capital of world football but the roads aren’t there. Hopefully it will be ready.
“When the World Cup is on, it will be the rainy season and full of mosquitoes.
“We were there in June for the Confederations Football Cup. It was 20 degrees at night and chucked it down, but was beautiful during the day.”
Another major worry for football lovers is the country’s reputation for drug gangs and gun crime.
Salvador, the largest city on the north east coast, has seen murders soar by 250% amidst stories of gangsters controlling its terrified residents with muggings, kidnappings and even executions.
Jo says the Isla de Itamaraca is completely isolated from such violence.
“We know where to take people or where to direct them so they feel safe. Itamaraca is very friendly.” Jo says prices will skyrocket as hundreds of thousands of football fans descend on Brazil.
So the Lingwoods are determined to keep their B&B prices low in June/July 2014, especially for Morecambe people who want to come over.
“During the World Cup we will have celebrations and entertainment at the B&B.
“All games will be shown on a projector screen and large wide screen TVs.
“Due to the fact that we are Brazilian visa holders we are also hoping to be able to get hold of tickets for some games held in the new Recife Stadium.’’
Anyone thinking of travelling to Brazil for the World Cup who would like help or advice can contact Jo at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org .