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from Reuters Soccer Blog:

World Cup hopefuls head up for air

World Cup organisers had plans to spread the 32 finalists for the 2010 tournament across South Africa, giving every corner of the country a chance to feel a little of the fever close at hand.

While the matches are only being played at 10 venues in nine cities, the team bases would have allowed for a wider spread, with the opportunity to watch a training session becoming almost as valuable a commodity as a match ticket for star-starved supporters away from the World Cup mainstream.

South Africa has a sparking coastline, lots of resorts of varying standards plus the interior of the country also enjoys a sophisticated tourist infrastructure.

There are many options from which teams can choose a base for the 2010 tournament and the major countries, qualified or not, have already been to South Africa to make their selection. Some coastal towns have done extensive marketing to try and attract a major football-playing nation to their location and a chance to share in the World Cup spotlight.

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