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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May, 27, 2008

Violence in South Africa concerns FIFA

SYDNEY, May 27 (Reuters) - FIFA expressed its concern on Tuesday about this month's deadly attacks on foreigners in South Africa but said the violence would not impact on the 2010 World Cup.

At least 56 people were killed when rioting mobs attacked immigrants with knives and stones, raping women and burning shops and homes to the ground in shanty towns around Johannesburg.

The attacks have raised concerns about the high crime rate in South Africa and the potential risk to foreigners who visit the country for the soccer tournament in 2010.

'We took note with concern the latest development in South Africa,' FIFA president Sepp Blatter told a news conference in Sydney, where world soccer's governing body is holding its annual congress this week.

'This is terrible ... we are concerned about it and we deplore (what happened).'

Blatter said the violent incidents had been discussed by the FIFA executive board but they were confident the situation was under control and said there was no thought of moving the tournament elsewhere.

'We are deeply, deeply concerned but nevertheless the executive committee again expressed confidence in the South African government,' he said.

'We trust them, I trust them, and we will do this World Cup 2010 definitely in South Africa.'

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