Soccer

Attack on Togo team won't affect World Cup: organizers

World Cup organizers are confident that the fatal bus attack on the Togo team at the African Cup of Nations in Angola should not impact on the tournament in South Africa later this year.

World Cup organizers are confident that the fatal bus attack on the Togo soccer team at the African Cup of Nations in Angola should not impact on the tournament in South Africa later this year.

Up to three people are reported to have died and several more were injured when gunmen opened fire on the Togo team bus on Friday.

Rich Mkhondo, media manager for World Cup 2010 organizers, said Saturday the incident would not impact preparations for the 32-team tournament that begins June 11. To suggest otherwise, he said, would be like saying that such an incident in the Czech Republic, for example, would have an impact on an event in Britain.

"We wish to state that there is no link between what happened in Angola and South Africa’s preparations to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup," Mkhondo said.

"We also cannot compare organization and security in Angola with South Africa just because the two countries happen to be in the same region in the world."

Because of South Africa’s notorious crime rate and the possibility that football hooligans from around the world may be among an estimated 450,000 fans headed for the country for the World Cup, security is already a major concern for organizers.

But they note South Africa has hosted trouble-free events such as the Confederations Cup and the rugby and cricket World Cups, and the continent had no trouble at other FIFA competitions.

"Africa has successfully hosted three successful FIFA events in the last eight months — the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa and the Under-17 and Under-19 World Cups in Nigeria and Egypt," Mkhondo said.

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