7 December 2009
South African police have this evening complained that they are unhappy with reports that ex-SAS soldiers will help protect some top teams at the World Cup next summer. Police spokesperson Sally de Beer described the media reports as “absurd”.
Yet some Fifa officials and sponsors will also use private security, according to sources, although the tournament’s organisers do not seem to know this yet. Fifa most recently used war-zone specialists Control Risks for the U-17 World Cup in Nigeria last month.
The police objected to suggestions that extra security was needed. But a Fifa spokesman, Wolfgang Eichler, has admitted that teams use their own discretion on security at major tournaments. “Teams like Germany, England and the Netherlands normally use private security from within their staff for the tournament. This applies to all tournaments, not only in South Africa,” he said.
Eichler, effectively confirming the “absurd” media reports, said it was “common practice” for teams to enlist extra security for many of their normal games, not only for international tournaments.