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Germans to move into ‘unsafe’ base

sports Updated: May 30, 2010 01:23 IST

The German Football Federation (DFB) insisted on Saturday that they have got the green signal to move into their South African World Cup base on June 7, despite the hotel not receiving an operating permit.

“We have received documents from both FIFA and the agency match stating we can move into our hotel,” said DFB logistics chief George Behlau.

On Friday, DFB general secretary Wolfgang Niersbach said the five-star Velmore Grande hotel near the capital Pretoria has received an operating license.

But, there seems to be some confusion with both Bild and the Sueddeutsche Zeitung here reporting the hotel had not received approval from the authorities who have deemed it both illegal and unsafe.

“We have not given approval for this hotel,” local mayor Gwen Ramokgopa told Bild at a press conference. But Ramokgopa has said both the owner and developers have assured her all technical problems will be fixed in time.

FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke criticised the hotel’s owners for not getting the necessary approval before building work started.

The South African media have reported that the hotel’s contractors were served with a court order on Friday ordering it to ensure the site is fully compliant. The hotel is built on impermeable dolomite, which does not drain water.

Germany’s top stars reveal Cup rituals

Berlin: Germany’s top stars have revealed the rituals which they hope will help the national side claim their fourth World Cup title in South Africa next month.

Germany face Hungary in their penultimate World Cup warm-up match in Budapest on Saturday and open their South African campaign against Australia in Durban on June 13 before facing Serbia and Ghana in Group D.

Germany won the World Cup in 1954, 1974 and 1990 and are bidding to win a fourth title. Their top players told the German fans’ website the rituals they need to experience before running out to represent their country.

“My ritual, which I want and need before a game, is when the team stands as a unit in a circle. That gives me a lift,” said new captain Philipp Lahm, who replaces ankle-injury victim Michael Ballack as skipper.

Schalke 04 goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said he has to touch the goalposts before the game starts. “Just before the whistle at the start of the game, I touch each of the goalposts and the crossbar once,” he said.

Centre-back Per Mertesacker says he ignores the razor for a few days. “He who shaves, loses,” said the Werder Bremen defender.