South Africa 2010 World Cup In Danger?
THE FIFA Confederations Cup slated for next year and the revered FIFA World Cup to be hosted for the first time in South Africa in 2010, is in danger. With barely two years to the big tournament, security does not appear does not appear the best for the occasions. Recent mob attacks on foreign nationals have reached unproportional latitudes and this has put the 2010 hosts under the microscope as to whether there will be a guarantee of maximum security during two of FIFA’s most- revered quadrennial football competitions, the Confederations and the World Cups. Over the past two weeks, 50 foreign nationals have been killed and a reported 10,000 are displaced by violence from the South Africans who claim that 'the foreigners are taking our scarce jobs away from us.' The situation is getting out of hand. President Thabo Mbeki is currently in Tanzania for military support to quell tensions. Hundreds have been compelled to flee for dear lives. Mozambican government has evacuated its nationals from Alexandra, in the west of Johannesburg, where the attack first started. People now live in extreme fear and trepidation. Most of these attacks are taking place in the Gauteng (Johannesburg and Pretoria) and the KwaZulu Natal Provinces (Durban) which are the engine rooms of South Africa’s development. These three cities will host majority of the matches of the Confederations Cup next year and the World Cup in 2010. In fact the semi-finals and the finals will be played in Pretoria and Johannesburg respectively in the wintry month July. Although the Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the World Cup led by Danny Jordaan, appear to be playing the diplomatic card, Joseph Sepp Blatter, FIFA’s President has refused to comment on the effects the mob attack. 'The violence would not deter people from coming to the World Cup because they understand the context in which the attacks are happening. Most People understand that the attacks arise from the conduct of some disgruntled people. 'Many people around the world have condemned this behavior. It is evident to the international community that the attacks are not nationally condoned. South African leaders have condemned the attacks and the whole world would see that South Africa does not endorse this behavior,' Jordaan said. When South Africa won the rights to host FIFA’s topmost event, concerns over security were raised since the country had become neck-deep in crime in recent times. Australia, Russia, Italy, Spain and England raised questions about security. England and Australia were lobbying behind the scenes for the rights to be taken away from Africa, but Blatter stood his grounds. Presently, preparations are on schedule. The Nelson Mandela, Moses Mabida, Royal Bafokeng, Ellis Park, Super Stadium and the Loftus Versfeld Stadia are way ahead of schedule. The FIFA Confederations Cup, which is normally a prelude to the FIFA World Cup, will begin from June 14 to 28 next year. As hosts of the World Cup, South Africa qualifies automatically. Italy qualifies by virtue of being World Champions. Brazil, Egypt, United States, Iraq, Australia all qualify as continental champions. Europe will present a candidate after the European Championship which begins next month.
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