INTERPOL Secretary General Ronald K. Noble has praised FIFA for its close collaboration with the South African Police Service and its organisation ahead of the FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa, which he sees as a model of international co-operation for future FIFA and other international sporting events.
In a statement released by INTERPOL today, Noble pointed to FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke’s strong and tireless commitment to working with the South African Police Service, INTERPOL and the international police community to help ensure that this global event is safe and secure.
He also highlighted FIFA's initiative in hosting a security-themed meeting at its headquarters in Zurich in early March this year – the first of its kind in the organisations history – which brought together INTERPOL, Chiefs of Police, Heads of Security and Police Liaison Officers invited from all 32 participating nations.
That meeting, Mr Noble said, provided a vital opportunity for South Africa’s Police Service to share its comprehensive planning approach and co-ordination of security for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Subsequently FIFA also took the step of funding the presence of police liaison officers from all participating countries to support the South African Police Service during the competition.
“It is expected that law enforcement will care about and understand the importance of security at such a global event. What is novel for this competition is that FIFA also appreciates and understands that the success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup on the field will be greatly enhanced through law enforcement ensuring a safe and secure environment off the field,” emphasized Mr Noble.
“INTERPOL also recognizes that the impressive security planning and preparation by the South African Police Service and its National Police Commissioner, General Bheki Cele, for the 2010 FIFA World Cup has been reinforced thanks to the full support and collaboration of all parties,” said Secretary General Noble.
“From what I have seen, FIFA has spared no efforts to make clear the priority that FIFA places on supporting the South African Police Services and INTERPOL’s efforts to ensure security for teams, visitors and the general public during the World Cup."
For its part, INTERPOL will be making the largest deployment of officers in its history, and will be providing South Africa’s police service with key operational support on the ground through an INTERPOL Major Events Support Team.