Dan Wetzel:

Soccer-Majority of World Cup teams to base themselves in south

Reuters

(Amends dateline, no change to text)

SAO PAULO, Feb 1 (Reuters) - The vast majority of teams at the World Cup in Brazil later this year have chosen to base themselves in the more developed south of the country - even if it means long flights to their games.

World governing body FIFA released the list of base camps for the tournament early on Saturday with 21 of the 32 teams choosing to base themselves in or around the cities of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.

Sao Paulo hosts the opening match on June 12 and the final will be in Rio on July 13.

With many of the teams having already announced where they would stay, there were no big surprises on the list.

The United States and Italy have the heaviest travel schedule with both teams having to fly more than 14,000 km to and from their three group games.

The U.S. will be based in Sao Paulo, while the Italians are just outside Rio de Janeiro.

Belgium, who also chose to stay near Sao Paulo, is the side that will spend least time traveling.

"From now on everything feels a little more real," said Frederico Nantes, LOC Competitions and Team Services General Manager.

"Now that we know exactly where each team will stay and train, we can start to plan in detail issues such as security, transport, logistics and other matters."

More than 400 towns and cities in 25 of Brazil's 28 states vied to become an training centre with FIFA whittling down the number of candidates to 83 last October.

Team base camps: Algeria - Sorocaba Australia - Vitoria Argentina - Vespasiano Belgium - Mogi das Cruzes Bosnia and Herzegovina - Guaruja Brazil - Teresopolis Cameroon - Vitoria Chile - Belo Horizonte Colombia - Cotia Costa Rica - Santos Croatia - Mata de Sao Joao Ecuador - Viamao England - Rio de Janeiro France - Ribeirao Preto Germany - Santa Cruz Cabralia Ghana - Maceio Greece - Aracaju Honduras - Porto Feliz Italy - Mangaratiba Iran - Guarulhos Ivory Coast - Aguas de Lindoia Japan - Itu Mexico - Santos Netherlands - Rio de Janeiro Nigeria - Campinas Portugal - Campinas Russia - Itu South Korea - Foz do Iguacu Spain - Curitiba Switzerland - Porto Seguro Uruguay - Sete Lagoas United States - Sao Paulo

(Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)

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