Argentina pip England to plush Pretoria base

BUENOS AIRES - Argentina beat England, Italy and Germany to a plush World Cup headquarters at Pretoria University on Wednesday, Argentine Football Association (AFA) envoy Humberto Grondona said.

"We had to close the agreement quickly because the same place was wanted by Italy, England and Germany, who had offered a lot of money," Grondona told Radio La Red.

Argentina have been negotiating since April to try to secure the facilities, which are used regularly by South Africa's national rugby team, for their final 20 days of preparations for next year's finals.

Humberto Grondona, the son of AFA president Julio Grondona, will be Argentina's only representative at Friday's World Cup draw in Cape Town as coach Diego Maradona is serving a two-month suspension for using abusive language against journalists.