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Danny Jordaan, the chief executive officer of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, has given a "100% guarantee" that there will not be a single security breach or attack on any of the teams or their officials taking part in the competition.

Speaking in London in the wake of heightened concern following the ambush in Pakistan of Sri Lanka's cricket team last week, the man who masterminded South Africa's successful bid also claimed it was "very important" England qualify for next summer's tournament if the Football Association is to win the bid to host the 2018 World Cup.

"We've already had our security people working at the Germany World Cup, the Euro 2008 final and the Beijing Olympics," Jordaan said. "But over and above that we will have 41,000 extra police and, in total, 86,000 additional personnel on duty during the World Cup. There will be water cannons, police helicopters, surveillance cameras and regular dry runs of security in each of our host cities because this is an important issue for us."

Jordaan also pointed to South Africa's record of hosting major sporting events since independence in 1994. "If you look at our event experience we've hosted many including the rugby World Cup in 1995, the 2003 cricket World Cup and the Twenty20 World Cup in 2007 We have [teams] in and out of the country all the time — this year we have the British Lions tour and the Confederations Cup.

"There is societal crime and event security — these are two separate issues. The way to secure the event is to collect the maximum information. I know when the team is arriving, when it is training, where it is playing and I know when the fans are coming. If I have 100% of this information I can tell I can a guarantee it will be 100% safe. Our security plan has been tested over 15 years and from 22 major events there has not been a single security issue."

Jordaan also believes that if Fabio Capello's successful start to his tenure as England head coach — maximum points have been taken from the opening four games — ends in qualification for South Africa then that will strengthen the chances of the World Cup being played in England in nine years' time.

"For England — they must know that the decision around 2018 will be made soon after 2010 [World Cup] and therefore you must be there at all of the major platforms leading up to that decision. As things stand, England must be very happy with the progress the team has made."

However, Jordaan was critical of his own country with South Africa having failed to qualify for the last World Cup and knocked out of last year's African Nations Cup in the opening round having failed to win a game. "Its very important that the host nation team performs and we are under pressure," he added. "Our team has not been performing and we just hope that it will improve results."
 
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