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Italy given World Cup travel reprieve

Posted on Jun 21 2014 | IANS

Rio de Janeiro, June 21 : Italy and Bosnia and Herzegovina won't have to return to their FIFA World Cup bases before their final group matches after being granted an exemption by FIFA.

Teams are normally required to stay at their base camps between matches during the group phase. But FIFA acceded to requests made by Italy and Bosnia and Herzegovina team officials due to the vast extent of Brazil, reports Xinhua.

Italy, who lost 0-1 to Costa Rica in Recife Friday, will now only need to travel 300 km to Natal for their decisive Group D clash against Uruguay Tuesday. The decision spared the 'Azzurri', whose base is in Mangaratiba, a 4,000 km round trip in less than three days.

Bosnia and Herzegovina will also only return to their quarters in Guaruja, following Wednesday's clash against Iran in Salvador. They take on Nigeria in Cuiaba Saturday.

FIFA says their rules regarding World Cup bases are in place to meet contractual obligations with cities which invest in facilities for the teams.

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