ghana find base

THE Black Stars of Ghana have fallen in love with the town of Nelspruit in Mpumalanga and want to use it as their base camp for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

THE Black Stars of Ghana have fallen in love with the town of Nelspruit in Mpumalanga and want to use it as their base camp for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Ghana are the first and only African team to have so far qualified for the historic soccer spectacle, which is expected to attract more than 500000 tourists.

Sowetan can reveal that representatives of the Football Association of Ghana were in South Africa last week to inspect the facilities in the area.

"Our brothers from Ghana's federation have been to Nelspruit and are happy with the facilities shown to them during the visit," said an impeccable source.

Michael Essien, Ghana's golden midfielder, said they were excited to have qualified for the World Cup, adding that he had no doubt South Africa would put on a great show.

Essien said they will use the Africa Cup of Nations in Angola in January to test their readiness for the World Cup. Ghana have not won the continental title since 1982 in Libya.

Meanwhile, England will be based at a new multipurpose sports complex in Phokeng, being built by the Royal Bafokeng tribe.

The English Football Association's demands included a games arcade, plasma television sets for the 23 players and 30 officials, and an electrified perimeter fence. The bedrooms of the five-star complex should also have British television channels .

The complex will have 14 sportsgrounds and a medical centre.

Netherlands have already informed the Local Organising Committee they will be based in Sandton, with Brazil going to Bloemfontein.

Bafana Bafana are still to decide on a base but won't be able to use the Parktown Hotel, where they stayed for the Confederations Cup, because Fifa will be using it for its guests.

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