WC 2003 - No compromise on safety measures during WC: Bacher

Published: Friday, November 29, 2002, 20:45 [IST]
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Durban: The World Cup Organising Committee will take every step to ensure the tightest possible security during the mega event starting in Cape Town in early February."There will be no compromise during the World Cup to ensure safety of players and spectators," World Cup CEO Ali Bacher said on Friday, reacting to the latest bomb explosion near the Wild Coast Casino Resort in KwaZulu-Natal and the suicide bomb explosions in Mombasa in Kenya.Kenyan capital Nairobi will host two of the World Cup preliminary round matches. "Every person will have to go through a metal detector, every bag will be searched and no alcoholic beverages or even water bottles will be allowed into the stadium." Bacher said they had tested their security arrangements during the South Africa-Sri Lanka One-day match at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Wednesday. "It was no picnic in the park. We learnt a lot. We realised it is a whole new ball game organising an event of this magnitude ... and it's now back to the drawing board for us," Bacher said.He said they had problems with traffic chaos, crowd control and spectators who sneaked in alcohol. Bacher said they were working closely with the South African Police Services and security measures for the World Cup would be the same as the one taken for the recently held World Summit on Sustainable Development. "I had a meeting this week with the deputy police commissioner and I left feeling very confident about the security measures that have been proposed. I've been assured that the same resources and a similar strategy adopted during the World Earth Summit will be used for the World Cup." This included any evacuation or contingency plans in the event of unexpected incidents, such as bomb blasts. Bacher revealed that the World Cup is expected to be the most successful event held as they have already netted more than 50 million Rand (Rs 2.5 billion) in ticket sales and by the time the tournament starts they expected the ticket sales to reach 70 million Rand (Rs 3.5 billion)."The tempo is really building now with the event nearing," he said. "It will be the biggest and best in the history of the World Cup, which started in 1975, as it will be watched by more than a billion viewers worldwide and it has far more dollars attached to it in terms of prize money and sponsorship." The cup prize money is $5 million compared to the previous $1 million. PTI

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