So far 12 games have been played and four are remaining in the ‘noisiest FIFA Confederations Cup tournament', and the event has progressed reasonably smoothly. However, the Local Organising Committee and government took international media to task on Monday 22 June 2009 over what they feel is the sensationalism of incidents of crime surrounding the event.
The first phase of the tournament has been completed without any major security risk incident being reported. The CEO of the LOC Dr Danny Jordaan and the Deputy Minister of police Fikile Mbalula were speaking at the media briefing which was held in Sandton, Johannesburg on Monday afternoon.
The aim of the press conference was for the LOC to discuss the latest developments around the Confederations Cup and also the lessons that they have been learned so far.
Even though he did not give details, Jordaan said his committee will be working at strengthening marketing initiatives aimed at promoting the upcoming tournament. He said the World Cup in South Africa is going to be the biggest, and that there has been a big demand of tickets with some of the matches already being oversubscribed.Perception of crime is ‘wrong'
Deputy Minister of safety and security said that the international perceptions on crime in South Africa are wrong. He urged journalist to strive to report facts and to refrain from sensationalising in their reporting of news. “It is unfair for international media to sensationalise reported crimes. The question of theft happens everywhere ... it has happened in Germany where fans were robbed,” said Mbalula.
"Security at matches has gone well and here we have to thank the commitment of the South African government and South African Police Service, who have really come to the party and gone out of their way to assist FIFA and the local organising committee."
“The levels of crime reported since the beginning of the Confederations Cup are no different to previous Confederations Cups hosted by other countries. I have been to all of them and to World cups since 1994 and the level of incidents in this cup are no different to other countries," said Jordaan.
"We mustn't sensationalise because it's very, very wrong. You must base your report on facts. Charge us on our track record, not on what you think might have happened, added Mbalula.
He also said police were monitoring security in and around stadiums and that crimes such as Thursday's alleged hotel robbery were isolated cases.No major breaches
The deputy minister said this after being questioned on what's his definition of a major breach of security during the Confederations Cup, following the alleged theft of money from the Egyptian soccer team's hotel rooms on Thursday night. He said there hadn't been any major breaches of security and they were investigating the incident involving Egyptian players.
"It being an unfortunate incident, we are investigating. If you bring people into the hotel as friends you must bear responsibility for them. So if you invite people who turn out to be security-unfriendly then it is unfortunate because we can't follow you up to your room,” said Mbalula.
South Africa's road leading to 11 June 2010 has been long and challenging, and there have been media reports about FIFA having other plans in case South Africa fails to live up to expectations. These have consistently been refuted by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter who has said there is no “Plan B”.