FIFA has just hosted a workshop in Zurich focusing on security issues ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. Attended by the South African Police Service (SAPS), who presented their security plans for the world finals, the two-day event yielded productive discussions with police chiefs and heads of security from the qualifying nations. FIFA.com reveals what the participants had to say in the press conference that followed the workshop’s conclusion.
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter
These two days of discussions between the chiefs of security of the participating countries and representatives of the South African government and the LOC have been very productive. FIFA can guarantee basic security standards but the rest is in South Africa’s hands and we’ve had faith in them from the start. The Confederations Cup passed off without incident and if the ‘rehearsal’ went off perfectly, then there’s no reason why the ‘première’ shouldn’t be a success. We’re not going to war. This is a celebration we’re talking about here.
There’s no such thing as complete security anywhere. That said, we need to make sure that security is as tight as possible for an event such as this. You can make a comparison with what was done at the Beijing Olympics. What we need to do though is create a positive atmosphere, which was also one of the objectives of these discussions, because what we want to see is a World Cup that’s full of joy, not one weighed down by fear. A total of 11 million tourists go to South Africa every year and the country has already hosted some major sporting events as I recall. The World Cup is a unique tournament, that’s true, but there are more athletes at the Olympic Games.
South African National Commissioner of Police, Bheki Cele
FIFA, the LOC and the South African police have been working together on security for a while now, and we are all here today to carry on exchanging ideas and to remind everyone that the World Cup is a magnificent event. Security provides a support for players and for the fans because it will allow them to enjoy the party in peace. We need to strike a clear balance though. First and foremost we want a great World Cup.
For both the event and the teams we have delivered a general plan comprising several points: transport from the airports, travel, hotels, team bases and training camps, etc. We have also revealed our plans regarding VIPs and have invited police forces from participating countries to come and support us in protecting their teams. With the help of the LOC and a number of local and international agencies we have been able to collate the information we need to safeguard the security of the players, the fans and the officials before, during and after the World Cup.
We can guarantee security for everyone and everywhere. We have 88,000 police officers in South Africa. Exactly half of them will be assigned to activities directly linked to the World Cup and the other half will be in charge of everything else, such as the Fan Fests and all the public areas.
We want to protect the post-World Cup legacy. The South African government has invested 1.3 billion rands in security at the World Cup, money that has gone on equipment, infrastructures, training and all the other things. It is a remarkable investment that will no doubt contribute to improved security in South Africa after the tournament.
INTERPOL Operations Manager, Christopher Eaton
We are going to send a large contingent of experts, we are going to provide tools and services, and we are going to use our crime database. All in all, we have the ability to identify potential troublemakers. Obviously, an exceptional amount of planning and preparation goes into a global event of this nature, and that’s why we’re offering our support to the organisers. I have absolutely no doubt it will be a magnificent competition.
Lead on football matters for England’s Association of Chief Police Officers, Andy Holt
We are very happy that this two-day workshop has helped to tackle all the issues that might previously have been unclear in relation to security. We have all been working together for a long time and I am now entirely confident that we have all the ingredients for a safe and successful World Cup.
English police will be working in close cooperation with the South African police force, and we will be using the same procedures as in 2006, which were shown to be very effective. Our job will be to help local police monitor supporters arriving from the UK. By way of example, we hope to send over an officer with an in-depth knowledge of our supporters for the England games, the idea being that he can advise his South African counterpart on their behaviour. We will also have uniformed officers present at ports of entry.
Local Organising Committee CEO, Danny Jordaan
Security is a vital aspect of the organisation process and this workshop has allowed us to define specific details for each team. Collaboration between the various stakeholders is essential and I am now convinced that the World Cup will be a success in terms of security too. We will have 10,000 police officers and 15,000 stewards on duty during the event. There are a lot of security personnel in South Africa and we will not be short-staffed. We are currently in the process of training this personnel.
South African National Assistant Commissioner of Police, Lukuas Pruis
Access to some areas will be restricted. Though the police will be there to safeguard law and order, they will be treating the World Cup as a celebration. To ensure public order is maintained, each host city will have its own units trained to deal with security situations. The general idea is for the police to be ready to respond immediately whenever there is a potential problem and to prevent violence from spoiling the party.
Collaboration with other police forces from participating nations is very important and will allow us to interpret the behaviour of supporters from these countries correctly. Our ultimate goal is to ensure security as far as possible without being too high-profile.