Germany book World Cup headquarters

BERLIN - Despite having failed so far to guarantee their berth at the 2010 World Cup finals, the German squad has already booked luxury South African headquarters.

The five-star hotel Velmore Grande near Pretoria, due to officially open in November this year, has been booked as Germany's base in South Africa should they qualify, German Football Federation (DFB) officials said on Wednesday.

Germany are top of their qualifying group, a point ahead of second-placed Russia. They take on Azerbaijan on Wednesday evening, before travelling to Russia in October for the match that will largely determine who ends up first in the group and wins automatic qualification.

Their final game is against Finland, also in October.