World Cup organizers and FIFA silent on tournament security
World Cup organizers and football's ruling body FIFA both refused to answer any questions about tournament security Wednesday, saying the issue is now entirely a police matter, DPA reported.
"I have no comment to make about this issue," Rich Mkhondo, chief communications officer of the local organizing committee (LOC), said at a press conference in Soccer City.
Meanwhile, FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot would only say that "the relationship between security forces and police is with the organizing committee".
FIFA and the LOC have been forced to hand control of security at four World Cup stadiums to the South African Police Service (SAPS) because of a strike by match stewards working for Stallion Security, who are are protesting over pay and conditions.
The decision was made following a meeting between all parties Tuesday and affects the stadiums in Durban, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town and Ellis Park in Johannesburg, where Tuesday night's match between Brazil and North Korea was played.
Mkhondo would not say whether South African police had told the LOC they were taking control at Ellis Park for Tuesday's game to ensure security or if World Cup organizers had requested their help. The SAPS deployed about 1,000 officers to conduct inner perimeter security duties at Ellis Park following the labour dispute between Stallion Security and stewards.
SA police had already taken control at Green Point stadium in Cape Town for Monday's match between Italy and Paraguay after Stallion Security workers walked out.
Although the LOC has refused to say how long the police will fulfil the stewarding role or to comment on the potential cost, the SAPS has called it an "interim arrangement" made in the interest of ensuring the safety of the World Cup tournament.