Germany to remain at base despite permit saga

BERLIN - Germany are not planning to switch their World Cup hotel in South Africa despite alleged problems between the owners and the local authorities over licences, team spokesman Harald Stenger said on Thursday.

South African media have reported that the Velmore Grande hotel near Pretoria, where the German team will be based from June 7th onwards, does not have the permits demanded by South African authorities.

"I can only say that this is an issue between FIFA, the agency Match, through which we booked the hotel, South African authorities and the hotel itself," said Stenger.

"We do not see any other alternative than this hotel that we have booked through the FIFA agency Match," he said.

The federation said it was aware of problems between the owners and local authorities but said it was confident it would all work out in time for their arrival.

Germany booked their accommodation last year, beating several other teams interested in the five-star hotel in the Gauteng Region.

Germany manager Oliver Bierhoff also tried to play down concerns.

"Sometimes things in South Africa are ready in the last minute. But we fully trust FIFA that we will move into our Velmore Grande base," said Bierhoff.

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