20 base camps in Gauteng

THREE provinces - Limpopo, Eastern Cape and Free State - have failed dismally in their bid to lure any of the 32 World Cup teams to set up base camps for the World Cup.

The only consolation for the three provinces is the fact they will host World Cup matches in Polokwane, Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein.

In Polokwane the matches will be played at the new Peter Mokaba Stadium, where locals will see the likes of Lionel Messi of Argentina and France's Thierry Henry in action.

In Port Elizabeth, the matches will be played at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and in Bloemfontein at at Free State Stadium.

Fifa and the Local Organising Committee are finalising the team base camps and an announcement to this effect will be made this week.

At the time of going to press only Slovakia and Slovenia were still to confirm with Fifa where they will be based during the quadrennial soccer showpiece.

"Representatives of Slovakia and Slovenia were here a few weeks ago and they went all over the country on an inspection tour," said a reliable source.

"The two countries have since opted for Johannesburg to be their base camp for the World Cup, but still have to send something in black and white confirming this."

Gauteng is set to host the most teams, with 20 countries having informed Fifa that they will be based in various hotels and lodges in the province. This was after Ghana dumped Mpumalanga for Gauteng.

The other 19 teams in Gauteng are hosts South Africa, Slovenia, New Zealand, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Ivory Coast, the US, Slovakia, Argentina, Italy, Australia, Brazil, Serbia, North Korea, Honduras, Mexico, Brazil and the Netherlands.

Five teams have chosen KwaZulu-Natal to be their home during the World Cup. They are Nigeria, Cameroon, Algeria, Greece and Paraguay.

Western Cape has three teams: France, Denmark and Japan. England, Spain and South Korea have confirmed their stay in North West with the organising committee.

Northern Cape, the only province that will not host a match, will have Uruguay as its adopted team for the duration of the tournament.