Thursday, April 16, 2009
Safety has long been an issue when talk turns to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Yesterday, organizers of the upcoming Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup assured the world that these events will be safe.
Recent crowd control issues in the Ivory Coast have sparked concern when it comes to the situation in South Africa. But organizers have moved swiftly to calm fears.
The Local Organising Committee (LOC) says that working with the relevant law enforcement agencies, it has put solid measures in place to ensure the safety of spectators, officials and teams both inside and outside the match venues during the two events.
“Their safety is guaranteed,” says LOC chair Danny Jordaan. He added that 41,000 police personnel will be deployed for the 2010 World Cup alone.
“To ensure safety for the fans, teams and officials coming to South Africa for the two FIFA tournaments, it’s important that we do not only focus on stadium safety, but general safety as well."
In addition to the promised 700 police officers at each game, a joint operation between law enforcement agencies will also be keeping a close eye on stadium security.
Jordaan says he is concerned about the tendency of local spectators to arrive late at stadiums.
“We can’t stress strongly enough the need for fans to give themselves enough time to enter the stadium, safely and securely,” he said.
In an effort to remedy late fans, the LOC is embarking on a major spectator education campaign to ensure that fans attending the Confederations Cup and World Cup matches get to the games early.
“The gates will open three hours before kick-off and this is when we want fans to start arriving for the match, so that they can go through the various security checks and get into the stadiums safely,” says Jordaan.
Jordaan says the LOC has briefed representatives of the competing Confederations Cup teams about the security measures.
“We call on all countries in the World Cup qualifiers to adopt the best safety practice to ensure that 2010 is safe and incident free,” he said.
MY POV: Now's the time to implement these measures. The Confederations Cup is a wonderful time to see how venues react to crowd control issues, rowdy fans and a host of other issues.
Cheers to the LOC and Danny Jordaan for taking the initiative and making sure they have a program in place ahead of the 2010 Cup.