Italy return to Southdowns College camp

REIGNING world champions, the Azzurri of Italy, are going back to Southdowns College in Centurion as their base camp for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

Sowetan can reveal that the Italians have already paid R1, 6million to renovate the facilities at this posh private school.

Italy first used the facility during the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup and were impressed by the institution, especially with the security.

An impeccable source, who has been working closely with the Italians and Southdowns College, said the facility has been approved by Fifa to be used by the Azzurri.

"The Italians have also renovated the pitch in line with Fifa requirements. The floodlights have also been increased. The college management are very happy that they have benefited from the 2010 Fifa World Cup, it's one of the legacy projects."

The US were also keen to use the facilities at the college.

The Italians, drawn in Group F against Paraguay, New Zealand and Slovakia, will stay at a nearby lodge for the duration of the tournament.

Italy start their final preparations for the World Cup with a match in Geneva on March 3 against Cameroon.

The Azzurri are also hoping to secure a friendly against Mexico, the team that will feature in the opening World Cup match against Bafana Bafana at Soccer City on June 11.