Blatter pats SA on Confederations Cup

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> FIFA President Sepp Blatter gave a thumbs-up to the arrangements for the ongoing Confederations Cup and said it augurs well for next year's World Cup.

Updated: June 24, 2009 09:07 IST
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FIFA President Sepp Blatter gave a thumbs-up to the arrangements for the ongoing Confederations Cup tournament here and said it augurs well for next year's World Cup scheduled in South Africa.

Speaking in Johannesburg about the country's preparedness for the World Cup, Blatter said, "I am happy with the smooth manner in which the Confederations Cup has been organised and this is a good sign for the World Cup."

Blatter, however, said that South Africa had to put more effort in providing proper accommodation and transport for the more than 300,000 foreign visitors who are expected next year. "Something has to be done in this regard. I am not going to speak about security," he said.

Meanwhile, the CEO of the FIFA Local Organising Committee, Danny Jordaan, has urged the international media to stop sensationalising the issue of theft and security during the FIFA Confederations Cup.

He said the media had created unnecessary anxiety among the international community regarding safety and security issues in South Africa.

"I have been to many World Cup tournaments across the globe and there's no difference with what is currently taking place in South Africa," he said.

"In terms of safety and security, everything is running smoothly and no major crime related incidents were reported, but you (media) create unfounded stories," he alleged.

The local and international media have reported cases of alleged robbery of the Egyptian and Brazilian players at their hotels in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Jordaan said the issue of Egypt was perplexing, and police were investigating the matter.

"People must also take responsibility of their own security. If you invite someone to your hotel room, you have to take responsibility. Police cannot follow you to your room, you have to take responsibility. The perception about Egyptian players must not be exaggerated, let the police provide us with the full legal and factual report.

"You must not generalise. Judge us on factual incidents, judge us with what had happened not on the hearsay evidence," he said.

Jordaan claimed all teams were satisfied with the standard of security and hospitality.

"The LOC would evaluate the problems and solutions, particularly with regard to transportation. The committee will learn from challenges experienced during the tournament, and work on them to improve during the 2010 FIFA World Cup," he said.

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