Germany to stick with World Cup base

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JOHANNESBURG - Germany expect to use their booked World Cup base as planned, despite a report from South Africa citing security concerns about their chosen hotel near Pretoria.

The team booked the four-star Velmore Hotel last year as their base for the month-long event, starting on June 11.

The Times newspaper, quoting unnamed officials, reported that police, defence force and national intelligence agency had asked Germany to move because of "safety concerns".

The German Football Association (DFB) has been in contact with local organisers and the hotel since hearing of the report but media director Harald Stenger said he did not expect any changes to the German schedule.

"The only thing we were aware of until now is that talks are still going on between the local organising committee, police and the hotel aimed at trying to clear up the final security details," Stenger said in a statement on Friday.

"Based on the current news reports, we got in touch today with officials from the South African Local Organising Committee and Grand Velmore Hotels.

"We are firmly convinced that all the remaining points will be cleared up as quickly as possible and the German team will use the hotel as planned."

According to the report in the Times, players would have to be transported via a narrow, run-down road near a poor township to get to Johannesburg's soccer stadia and its international airport.

It also said there may be 'problems' with the registration of the hotel as its building plans had not been approved by the local council.

Police spokesman Vishnu Naidoo would not comment on the report, while intelligence officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

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