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Page last updated at 12:33 GMT, Monday, 17 May 2010 13:33 UK

England squad flies out to Austrian training camp

England arrived in Graz on Monday ahead of their  their training camp
England arrived in Graz on Monday ahead of their training camp

England's World Cup squad have flown to Austria for the first of their two altitude training camps.

There were concerns the flight from Heathrow would be delayed because of the volcanic ash disruption but flight restrictions were lifted on Monday.

England have a week in Irdning, near Salzburg, before returning to London for a friendly with Mexico on 24 May.

The five players involved in Saturday's FA Cup final, plus injured Gareth Barry, did not make the trip.

England coach Fabio Capello is keen for his players to be fully acclimatised to playing at altitude, although two of their World Cup Group C matches will be staged at sea level.


Austria is becoming an increasingly popular destination for Europe's top clubs, with Arsenal also using the excellent facilities which were shown off at the 2008 European Championships, held jointly with Switzerland.

Euro 2008 champions Spain lead a number of teams heading to the Alpine nation for a pre-World Cup camp.

The Netherlands, Serbia, Slovakia, South Korea, Cameroon, New Zealand and Honduras are also converging on the land-locked nation.

Another nine international teams, including World Cup participants Japan, Greece and North Korea will travel to Austria to play friendly matches.

England's squad is due to return to Irdning two days after the Mexico friendly before playing their final pre-World Cup friendly against Japan in nearby Graz on 30 May.

Following that match, the 30-man squad will come back to England and the final 23-man squad will be announced on Tuesday, 1 June before flying out to their Rustenburg World Cup base in South Africa the following day.

England's overseas trip has come during a week when the Football Association has had some awkward situations to deal with.

It had to address Capello's involvement in a player ratings website for the World Cup - the plans for which have now been postponed.

And on Sunday, Lord Triesman stepped down as chairman of the FA and the England 2018 World Cup bid after a newspaper article said he suggested Spain could drop its 2018 bid if rival bidder Russia helped bribe referees at this summer's World Cup.

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see also
Thompson named 2018 bid chairman
17 May 10 |  Football
Triesman quits FA & 2018 Cup jobs
16 May 10 |  Football
Capello postpones ratings website
11 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Capello names surprise Cup squad
11 May 10 |  World Cup 2010

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