(WFI) Interpol says no terrorism threats to the South Africa World Cup have been identified and security measures are exceeding expectations.
“What I have seen so far is very positive. South Africa can be proud of the level of security that is in place,” Interpol secretary general Ronald Noble told AFP.
“My opinion is that South African police services is doing all that is in its power to ensure that South Africa is as safe as possible during the World Cup.”
South Africa will deploy 41,000 police for the June 11 to July 11 tournament. Noble said that 20 to 25 countries were providing manpower to support law enforcement officers in South Africa to manage all security threats, including terrorism, organized crime and hooliganism. Officials from each of the 32 participating countries are also aiding security plans.
“South African planning is above our expectations,” he said.
“In our database, we’ve not yet found any terrorism or hooliganism threats directly linked to the 2010 FIFA World Cup,” Noble was quoted by government news agency BuaNews.
In the build-up to the World Cup, police will closely monitor ports of entry with visitors screened using Interpol databases . Noble revealed that technological advances will make mobile spot checks of identities and fingerprints possible at Fan Fests and stadiums.
South African deputy police commissioner Andre Pruis insisted the country was
prepared for any outbreaks of hooliganism.
“We’ve been working closely with France, Britain and the Netherlands to furnish us with personal information of individuals who might embark on acts of hooliganism,” he was quoted.
Khoza denies trying to oust SAFA chief
World Cup organising committee chairman Irvin Khoza refutes allegations that he is plotting to oust South African Football Association president Kirsten Nematandani.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Khoza insisted he had not broken his promise to President Jacob Zuma to wait until after this summer’s tournament before campaigning for the SAFA presidency.
“I made a commitment that my focus will be singularly dedicated to hosting a successful 2010 Fifa World Cup,” Khoza was quoted in a report by AllAfrica.com.
“I have stayed true to this commitment. I have held no meeting, nor had any correspondence where the subject of the SAFA elections or any related issue was discussed.
At a separate SAFA news conference on Wednesday, Nematandani said he had been warned by some members of the media that there were plans to remove the elected leadership before the World Cup “through destabilising the regions, the administration and the national teams of SAFA”.
Nematandani said the reports had been noted and SAFA had launched an investigation to clear up the issue and “protect the integrity of the World Cup”.
Nematandani, who has served SAFA since 1997, was elected as SAFA president in September last year.
Khoza and World Cup CEO Danny Jordaan had agreed to drop out of the running following concerns expressed by FIFA that the presidential race was having an impact on preparations for this summer’s tournament.
reporting from Mark Bisson ([email protected])
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