Wednesday, 26 May 2010

England Fans, Look Closely at This Picture. Do Not Step Out Of Line at This World Cup

ENGLAND fans, have a look at the picture above. Those who remember Marseille in 1998 and Stuttgart in 2006, where hoodlums bearing the cross of St George disgraced their nation, had better beware.
In South Africa, where violent crime is daily occurrence, the cops don't tend to take prisoners. Literally.
The local police staged a major show of force through the streets of Rustenburg yesterday before England's opening World Cup clash against the USA on June 12.
Armoured trucks, bomb disposal units, guard dogs, mounted police and patrol motorbikes sent out the message: We're ready for anything.
Sleepy Rustenburg awoke to the sounds of police sirens as a vast armada of security forces made their way down the main street. A parade nearly two miles long ended with dramatic simulations of some of emergency and disaster management responses.
The "Security Show of Force" as the local NorthWest police dubbed their march, comes the day after a bomb hoax at the official World Cup fan park.
Lesego Metsi, one of the men tasked with keeping peace among the fans - England and the USA are the two biggest ticket buyers for this World Cup - also has to deal with terrorist threats and high, though declining, local crime rates.
He said: "Our intelligence team is working around the clock with Interpol. Security will be high for the teams at their base camps. We have enough forces and capacity to deal with any threats." Nationwide, World Cup security is being dealt with by a genial General Bheki Cele. I've spent some time with him. Big chap. Got a glint in his eye. This week he was grilled on television over his eagerness to encourage his forces to shoot first, talk afterwards, when confronted with problems.
In Durban last week he told me: "I have the England fans on my radar. I've been over and talked to your police. I know all about them. They will be dealt with."
Cele will send out buses known as "Jaws" with a full-functioning court and cells on board. He grins: "When we get them, we'll charge them and deal with them. If it's a serious offence, they go to jail. Or we take them straight to the airport and send them home."
Guess we've got the message, loud and clear.
Sneak preview of the US World Cup base at Irene Lodge:

Subscribe to my YouTube feed for the Greek, Italian and New Zealand bases. Coming tomorrow: England's base at the Royal Marang.
For reaction (53 comments at the last count) to the Sun's "Deadly Snakes threaten England camp" nonsense, see:


  1. Loving your balanced, fair and supportive reporting Neal. Thanks for telling it like it is.

    (Small point on this and your Star article - USA v. England is on Day 2 - 12 June. 11 June is opening day with 2 matches from the Group A teams only.)

    We ran another "we're not fans of the Sun" post over on BlaBla as well after the snakes story, with suitable annotations on their story. Silly bunch they are.

  2. Come on guys, don't take it so seriously. No-one pays much attention to The sun other than page 3. I don't think any level headed fan is going to change his travel plans after reading that load of crap.
    Security forces are well up for it at any football tournament. South Africa is no different.

  3. Greg, thanks mate, nobody knows that better than I do... need a sub-editor to help me! Glad we're building a surge against negative reporting! Iwasthere... it is serious. Sun readers aren't the intellectual types. They'll take this on face value... important to hit back when they run rubbish like that. By the way, have you found the hidden fans at the AmaZulu game yet?

  4. If they are hidden, how would I find them ? Let's just accept that you happened to be the only white at the match when whites regularly attend all other games. Astonishing coincidence.
    Oops sorry, the only white as far as you could tell.