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Bafana Bafana's 'embarrassing' change in plans
by Paul Kennedy, February 24th, 2010 12:33AM

TAGS:  world cup


[WORLD CUP COUNTDOWN] How chaotic are things in South Africa less than four months before the start of the World Cup? The training facility the host team, South Africa's Bafana Bafana, hoped to use to prepare for the tournament is so badly run down they can't use it. And the headmaster of the school chosen as a replacement venue knew nothing of the South African Football Association's plans when they were announced in the media.

Bafana Bafana were supposed to train at the Esselen Park School of Excellence, but the South African Football Association failed to make the $2 million in renovations necessary to make it ready in time for the opening of the final camp in May -- an oversight South African Football Association CEO Leslie Sedibe called "embarrassing."

Instead, Bafana Bafana will train at Sandown High School. One problem: no one told the school administration.

"The courteous thing for them to do would have been to approach the chairperson or the headmaster to get an idea of whether we were going to say yes," Oupa Keele, the chairman of the school's governing body, said.

School officials would like to host Bafana Bafana, but they admitted their stay may pose conflicts that have to worked out.

The school was chosen because it is near the Sandton Southern Sun Hotel, Bafana Bafana's hotel

The state of training camps was in the news this week since FIFA was hosting a seminar for the coaching staffs of the 32 World Cup teams in Johannesburg. Not all teams have made them final plans.

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke went with England coach Fabio Capello to inspect Bafokeng Sports Campus near Rustenburg. While facility is not yet finished, Capello said England would be based there.

“If the road to the hotel isn’t perfect, so what?” he said. “What they need is a nice place where they can stay and train.”

Not exactly the precision you'd expect out of a Swiss-based organization like FIFA.

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