SPAIN, the No 1 team in the world, have decided on Potchefstroom as their base for the duration of the World Cup.
The Spaniards were reportedly very pleased with the University of the North West's High Performance Centre when they were last in South Africa for the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup.
"After their visit last year, the Spanish Federation really liked the town and also thought the university's facilities were fantastic, with some great people on the staff. The altitude also suited the players. They felt very welcome and everything is top level," said Jorge Friend of the Spanish embassy.
By choosing a town in North West, the Spaniards follow in the tracks of England, who earlier decided on Rustenburg as their base. Meanwhile, the Gauteng government yesterday announced that more than 20 World Cup-bound teams have decided on the province as their preferred home base.
This has never happened before in the history of the World Cup - it was the result of a concerted effort over two years of lobbying and positioning North West and Gauteng as the preferred destinations for investments, tourism and competitive sports.
Quality infrastructure, world-class hotels, the high altitude and the cosmopolitan and multicultural nature of the Gauteng population have been cited by current World champions Italy, Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, Holland, the US and others.
"These successes are not a coincidence; they are the result of hard work, clear vision and the ability to take calculated risks," Gauteng Economic Development Agency chief executive Blake Mosley-Lefatola said.