Teams satisfied with security arrangements

Monday, December 7, 2009

Pretoria - The teams which qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup seemed to be satisfied with security arrangements for the tournament during a seminar with team representatives last week.

This is according to the South African Police Service's (SAPS) National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (Natjoints), which said in a statement that the SAPS had assigned team security liaison officers and close protectors to each team.

Thereafter a seminar was held with the teams' representatives on security matters for the duration of the World Cup.

"All teams seemed satisfied with the security arrangements and no negative comments or opinions were reported," said Natjoints. It added that it would continue to liaise with the teams' representatives.

This follows a media report in which it was claimed that teams had hired private security firms, including warzone guards from Iraq, to provide them with protection due to alleged gaps in the organiser's ability to secure them.

"It must be noted that not one person quoted in the article as having misgivings about the security provided for the teams has been identified in the article - all are 'sources'," said Natjoints in their statement.

It added that those who planned on making easy money out of the security industry during the 2010 FIFA World Cup by misrepresenting the facts were "unpatriotic and doing their country a great disservice".

It said that South Africa's security forces had proved over and over again that it was fully prepared to secure major events and that it had successfully and confidently provided close security details to all teams playing in the FIFA Confederations Cup.

"During the FIFA Confederations Cup, the teams and officials in this country were escorted by SAPS members safely and no security incident involving any team or team member occurred.

"In fact the teams were extremely satisfied with the protection provided by the SAPS."

The SAPS structure said that while one incident of theft was reported from the hotel of a certain team, no evidence had to date materialized which could support the allegations and lead to an arrest.

Further to this, the SAPS, together with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and other law enforcement officers successfully policed and secured the 2010 Final Draw as well as parallel activities, such as the Long Street Festival.