South Africa tackles World Cup crime, hooligan fears
South African police on Saturday unleashed heavy security to prevent crime and ward off hooligans at high-profile World Cup matches, as England and Argentina took to the field.
South Africa turned away an England fan at the Johannesburg airport, police said, after 11 Argentines were similarly deported for being known instigators of football violence.
Despite reports in Argentina that scores of hooligans had slipped into the country, South African police said stepped-up security minimised the risk of violence at the games.
"We don't really view hooliganism as a very big risk because of all the measures we have in place and the good cooperation with various countries," police spokeswoman Sally de Beer said.
"Plus, the UK has put so many measures in place in their own country that we feel it is very manageable," she added.
Argentina handed over a blacklist of 800 fans barred from attending, while Britain required 3,200 known hooligans to surrender their passports during the tournament.
"We have worked very hard at making sure people have a realistic understanding about what England fans are like these days. There has been a wholesale change," said Andy Holt, head of the British police contingent dispatched to Rustenburg.
Police from 27 countries are helping South African forces keep an eye out for trouble in the stands. Each stadium has holding cells to lock up any unruly fans.
In Rustenburg, security was even tighter as US Vice President Joe Biden was to attend the game. Fans had to queue for up to an hour to get past metal detectors and have their bags searched as police helicopters flew overhead.
Despite the heavy police presence, England and American fans packed into the sleepy mining town, leaving lodges scurrying to house overflow crowds while bars near the stadium ran out of beer.
Around Johannesburg's Ellis Park, where Argentina beat Nigeria 1-0, police on motorcycles patrolled streets best known for gangsterism and drug violence.
Ellis Park was the venue for South Africa's 1995 rugby World Cup triumph when Nelson Mandela handed the trophy to Springbok skipper Francois Pienaar.
Now it is surrounded by neighbourhoods that epitomise the urban decay Johannesburg is battling to reverse, populated by immigrant communities including many Nigerians.
The match passed off without incident.
Organisers breathed a sigh of relief after the opener Friday went off without major trouble, with the biggest complaints over traffic jams and delayed trains as 85,000 fans headed into Soccer City to see the hosts play Mexico.
World Cup spokesman Rich Mkhondo said new transport schemes would be unveiled Monday, but urged fans in Johannesburg to take public transport to games.
South Africans largely ignored the traffic hassles, overjoyed with their 1-1 draw with Mexico.
These events spoil the beauty of the World Cup
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ce dernier en la rejoignant
Cette ?ni?me sortie n'est pourtant pas sans risque. Cens? repr?senter au sein de cette direction Laurent Fabius, son mentor depuis le d?but de sa carri?re politique en 1980, il s'?tait d?j? brouill? avec ce dernier en la rejoignant.Fin 2008, au lendemain de l'accession de Martine Aubry ? la t?te du parti, l'ancien Premier ministre lui avait vertement reproch? d'avoir pris fait et cause tn requin pour la nouvelle premi?re secr?taire, sans parvenir ? placer suffisamment de fabusiens ? des postes-cl?s. Claude Bartolone ne le supportera pas et lancera apr?s cette r?primande : ? Je viens de divorcer une deuxi?me fois ! ? Des ann?es de vie politique commune vol?rent ainsi en ?clat
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