Capello rules out repeat of Baden-Baden circus

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The Independent Online

Fabio Capello is confident his World Cup training camp at Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus will ensure no repeat of the circus that accompanied England in Baden-Baden four years ago.

FIFA have yet to confirm the bases for the 32 teams at this summer's tournament in South Africa but Capello has declared himself happy with the progress at the proposed site in the north-west of the country, even though construction is not completed.

The England manager visited the complex near Rustenburg on his way to the pre-World Cup meeting with 18 other national coaches at Sun City - and the site's isolated location means WAGs and members of players' entourages will be at a distance.

That was not the case when England played in Germany during their last major tournament, but Capello said: "When I started this period I hoped it would not be the same."

The 2006 summer was the height of the England team being engulfed by the culture of celebrity, with Rio Ferdinand since branding the era as a "circus" where players were more interested in WAGs than winning.

Capello has seen recently how his players' private lives are now under intense scrutiny, with John Terry losing the captaincy following allegations regarding Wayne Bridge's ex-girlfriend.

Both are expected to be selected by Capello for the friendly against Egypt next week at Wembley - and Stuart Pearce, who is in Capello's backroom staff, does not anticipate problems.

"I don't see it being an issue," said Pearce, the current under-21 coach, who was speaking at the launch of the Nationwide Right Hand Fan competition, on behalf of England team sponsors Nationwide.

"We had a situation that I didn't feel warranted a week's worth of front-page news.

"Most people have backed the way that Fabio has handled it and now I don't think there will be a problem at all.

"When you turn up to represent England, the only thing that is important is England winning."

Capello is due to announce his squad at the weekend for the final friendly before the domestic season ends and the focus switches to South Africa.

Capello was given assurances that the medical centre at England's proposed base will be delivered on time and pitches will be up to standard, with the training facilities appearing to be of greater importance than the Team Workshop he attended.

"I'm really happy," he said. "We checked everything and it improved a lot from the last time we stayed here.

"The pitches are good and will be better for June. The pitches and the centre we choose will be very important for us.

"The hotel is really, really nice and the medical centre will be ready in two months. I'm really, really happy because it's the third time I've stayed here and the facilities are fantastic.

"We visited four different places and this was the best."

He added: "We have to sign but we are ready for the signing of the contract."

FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke the facilities will be ready on time.

"I was invited by the King of Bafokeng to see this centre because they are looking for FIFA support in the future, after the World Cup, about potential use of international teams who want to train out of their continent," said Valcke.

"The rooms are there - there is a welcome desk where you can pay, a breakfast area where you can eat. There was a television and internet in the room.

"Beside it there is the 3,000 square metres for the King's Suite; this is under construction but this will not be used during the World Cup.

"At the time of the World Cup, the FA (Football Association) need the 68 rooms, the medical centre and pitches. There are two which are being worked on by an Irish company who are experts in grass.

"We have been told the medical centre will be built on time."

It is understood Algeria, one of England's Group C opponents, are yet to decide where to stay.

Danny Jordaan, chief executive of the 2010 Organising Committee, insists the feedback from officials during the meetings in Sun City has been positive.

"We've met with the teams and coaches and overall they are very happy," he said.

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