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Security Still a Concern for South Africa 2010

The glitzy World Cup draw in Durban went off without a hitch -- at least, that's what organizers for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa would tell you. However, the weekend was blighted by the murder of a former Austrian soccer player at a golf course outside the city, underscoring the safety concerns hanging over South Africa's hosting the tournament. Even so, police insisted it was just a routine murder that had nothing to do with the draw, which is why security spokesman Supt. Vish Naidoo was able to say, "Everything ran as planned. We are very satisfied." (German team manager Oliver Bierhoff had his briefcase stolen during breakfast at his hotel.)

Durban prepared for the draw by closing streets and blanketing the surrounding area with police and security cameras. The city is considered one of South Africa's most dangerous; the country itself averages more than 50 murders per day. Naidoo said the successful World Cup draw would "create a significant degree of reassurance in the hearts and minds of those planning to visit South Africa pre-tournament, for the World Cup itself and after."

Aside from security concerns, transportation is considered the second major impediment to South Africa hosting a successful World Cup -- a major problem when FIFA expects more than 450,000 people to flood the country for the tournament. Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg all lack modern transportation systems.

Read the whole story at Associated Press »

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