Deadline looms for 2010 base camp choices

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pretoria - The 32 teams taking part in the 2010 FIFA World Cup have until 31 January to confirm their base camps to the world football governing body, FIFA .

The City of Tshwane has already approved a total of seven base camp facilities. One such facility is the High Performance Centre in Hatfield, attached to the University of Pretoria, which Argentina inspected on Monday as their potential base camp.

Another one is the Southdown's College used by Italy during the FIFA Confederations Cup last year. HM Pitje Stadium in Mamelodi, Caledonian Stadium, Pilditch Stadium, Laudium Stadium and Eersterus Sport Stadium are the other five sports facilities that can be used by teams wishing to stay in Tshwane.

Godfrey Nkwane, Chief Executive Officer of the City of Tshwane 2010 unit says that a number of high profile teams besides Argentina are considering Tshwane as a base camp city.

Enthusiastic about the interest in the city, the CEO was upbeat. "Potential champions and reigning champions alike come to Tshwane - City of Champions - for their preparations before any major competition," he said.

Italy, expressed their desire to return after their base camp experience in Tshwane during the FIFA Confederations Cup.

Other national teams interested in making Tshwane their base camp include USA, who also played in Tshwane last year during the FIFA Confederations Cup. Germany, Ghana and Slovakia have also shown interest in the city.

"It is the prerogative of each team to announce their final choice of base camp. But we are ready and waiting to host all of the teams (Italy, Argentina, Germany, USA, Ghana and Slovakia - and more if need be as Tshwane is such a favourable base camp destination)," he said.

Besides its moderate climate and low probability of rainfall during June/July, Tshwane also has good altitude for team preparations, being at around 1 350 meters above sea level and has a large selection of facilities from which to choose, thanks to its sports loving people and array of large educational institutions.