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Hotel deemed fit for Germans

sports Updated: Jun 02, 2010 00:56 IST

The German football team’s World Cup hotel in South Africa was ruled fit for use on Tuesday after local officials had initially deemed it illegal and unsafe over flouted building regulations.

“At this point, they’ve complied with the minimum adequate standards and can now occupy the building,” Tshwane mayor Gwen Ramokgopa said.

The Velmore Hotel in Pretoria was served with a court order to comply with regulations or face losing the German team.

The hotel had to pay a fine of nearly $7,800 and make adjustments, which included removing air-conditioning pipes in drain shafts, taking away diesel tanks and putting up signage for fire hydrants and hoses.

McCarthy out of SA squad

South Africa’s all-time leading scorer Benni McCarthy was one of five players cut from the World Cup hosts’ squad on Tuesday as coach Carlos Alberto Parreira settled on his 23 players for the June 11-July tournament.

The decision to ditch McCarthy was a major surprise but follows criticism concerning the forward’s fitness. Parreira also dropped defender Bryce Moon and goalkeeper Rowen Fernandez in two other surprise cuts.

“My heart bleeds for them,” he told a news conference. “Put your heads up. Life goes on. We are only allowed to take 23 but thank you very much for your efforts, your attitude and commitment. A team is when somebody shares the same vision, whether you are playing or on the bench.”

McCarthy’s omission effectively brings down the curtain on a turbulent international career in which he won 79 caps and netted a record 31 goals.

Buffon to meet Mandela

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon revealed on Tuesday that he would meet former South Africa president Nelson Mandela in a peace initiative ahead of the World Cup in the African country.

“I will meet the ex-president and Nobel Prize winner in the following days to talk about peace,” said Buffon from Italy’s pre-World Cup training base .