South Africa: Top Security Group Shuns 2010 World Cup

by Ernest Mabuza
Johannesburg — GROUP 4 Securicor (G4S), the world's biggest security company, will not work at the 2010 Soccer World Cup next year in SA due to its concern about the tournament's organisation, says CE Nick Buckles.

"We are not going to be involved because we don't think the security is going to be that good -- they are not that well organised yet," Buckles said in an interview yesterday with Reuters.

Buckles said that G4S regarded SA as the most dangerous country in the world to work in -- ahead of Iraq and Afghanistan.

But yesterday the South African Police Service said it would be providing overall security for the World Cup, and private contractors would be employed at the stadiums only at the discretion of the local organising committee (LOC).

The LOC poured cold water on the criticism. "We will not respond to individual companies with vested interests, but suffice to say security is naturally one of our biggest priorities," said CEO of the LOC Danny Jordaan.

"Our country has hosted at least 146 events, including the United Nations Summit on Sustainable Development, the IRB Rugby World Cup, the ICC Cricket World Cup and the Indian Premier League, which is currently under way, safely and securely, and we are confident this will again be the case for the 2010 Fifa World Cup," Jordaan said.

Police spokesman Sen Supt Vishnu Naidoo said the police and its partners, including the defence force and the intelligence services would be wholly responsible for law enforcement during the World Cup, and would also assist in securing the stadiums.

"As far as we are concerned, we have presented a security plan to Fifa. A more detailed plan for the World Cup will be given to Fifa in June," Naidoo said.

This week, police were on a week-long crowd-control simulation training in the North West aimed at honing their skills in preventing and combating disruptive or unruly behaviour during next month's Confederations Cup and the World Cup, Naidoo said.

G4S missed out on the Beijing Olympic Games last year as the Chinese government kept security in-house, but it hopes to be a major presence at the 2012 games in London.

"We're clearly expecting to do something in London ... hopefully we'll get the event itself," Buckles said.

With Reuters

Source: Business Day

Also in the news

Nigeria/South Africa: Eagles Will Be in South Africa - Okocha

by Kate Obodo
Former Super Eagles captain Austin Jay Jay Okocha is confident Nigeria's flag will be hoisted in South Africa come next year when the world converge on the rainbow country for the FIFA World Cup.

The ex-PSG midfielder believes the Super Eagles are capable of picking the group's ticket for the FIFA World Cup, ahead of rivals Tunisia. According to him, Super Eagles are a better team with players who have the skill and drive to deliver .

Speaking with Saturday Sports at the AIT organised National Mobilisation for Super Eagles World Cup Qualification talk shop held at Jade Gardens in Ikeja, the midfield wizard, said the players were good and with proper handling of the team, there were very bright prospects that the team will qualify for the World Cup.

The former Bolton of England player agreed that the players played poorly in Maputo, but stressed that they needed to put their acts together if Nigeria must qualify for the World Cup, holding on an African soil for the first time.

"It is possible that we will qualify for the World Cup, it is just that sometimes football could be difficult to predict but in all, that is the beauty of football".

"Also, it is always important to have a good team. During my playing days, we had a good team. I believe such a team still exist in the present Super Eagles. All we need to do is bring out the best in them," he declared.

Reacting to what is responsible for poor fan turnout especially at domestic league matches, the former midfield dynamo stated that the root cause could be seen from the fact that the coverage was not of standard and that people were now exposed to better leagues in Europe. According to him, more work still needs to be done to improve the facilities on ground.

" I think we need to improve on our league especially our stadia. We need to be more creative and make our league more attractive . I don't think you will blame our people for not going to the stadium to watch our league because the games are a bit boring and people are more exposed to better leagues. This makes it difficult for people to watch our league", he said.

Source: Vanguard