FIFA president Sepp Blatter has insisted there will no repeat of the scenes which marred Sunday’s warm-up match between Nigeria and North Korea and left almost two dozen fans injured.
The crush as fans tried to enter the ground has rekindled fears about the levels of security around venues.
Blatter sought to offer reassurance all will be well when the tournament itself kicks off on Friday as well as distancing FIFA from the events at the Makhulong Stadium in the Johannesburg suburb of Tembisa
“This will not happen in any match of the World Cup, of that you can be assured,” Blatter said. ‘We are organisers of a competition and, being the organisers of a competition, we have to take the adequate steps for security. But in no way does the football organisation, being local, regional, national or international, have any police force or military force to intervene in security.
“Football has to take the steps to make sure that these organisations are involved to ensure the minimum of security for any competition. FIFA has no police force. They cannot even take out a spectator from a stadium – it’s not possible.”
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke added: “We have been criticised very often for not distributing tickets on the matchday at the stadium. What happened there proves we are right. But you rest assured that in terms of organisation, the levels will a lot higher than what we saw there.”
Responding to claims from Nigeria that they were not allowed to play the match in a bigger stadium, Valcke said: “We told those taking part ten days ago that they could not play in World Cup stadiums. But they have been free to use anywhere else, even some of the big rugby grounds.”