00051118 image - FIFA aware of threats

FIFA is aware of fresh threats made by al-Qaeda to target this year's World Cup, but insists nothing will prevent the tournament from being staged in South Africa.
An Algerian wing of the group has claimed it will carry out attacks on England's Group C match against the United States on June 12 in Rustenberg, prompting new security fears less than two months before the start of the competition.
But football's world governing body FIFA has stressed that such threats can occur in any country and that tournament organisers are fully prepared.

"It does not mean that because we receive a threat the World Cup should not be allowed to be contested in South Africa or any other country," FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said.
"We have freedom in the world to celebrate what we want. As the management of the organisation that governs world football, we know there is a threat."
"We will not stop the organisation of the World Cup because we got the threat."
The threats, which were made in an online magazine of the group, are being taken seriously by FIFA, which has vowed to work with authorities across the world to ensure an incident-free World Cup.
Valcke added: "We put in place all what we can in terms of security and we are working with this threat at the ministerial level and with security agencies worldwide to ensure that nothing happens in South Africa."
"Not only are we working with the participating countries, but with everyone that can help prevent attacks."
Valcke's comments came on the same day that the Organising Committee (OC) unveiled the official ticket for the first time.
It was also confirmed that 2.2 million tickets have been sold to date over the four sales phases, with the final phase set to begin on April 15.
During this phase 500,000 tickets will be available for 63 matches, the final excluded, and for the first time will be available over the counter.
Valcke added: "This final ticket phase is very important."
"We will not want to give that picture of empty seats to the world. All will need to be done in these last days."
"We have made a big effort to assist football fans by introducing various additional means to purchase a ticket."
"We are committed to facilitating the process for all fans and giving them this last chance to attend the matches and experience the excitement of this first World Cup in Africa."
Danny Jordaan, chief executive officer of the organising committee, added: "We are excited about these new initiatives, which make the process much easier for everyone."
"We have always said that it is important that we make this World Cup more accessible to the people and with the over-the-counter sales, we believe this measure is consistent with the needs of the fans."

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