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Jan 9, 2010

Jordaan: Angola events will not impact World Cup

World Cup 2010 chief executive Danny Jordaan has insisted that this summer's finals in South Africa will not be negatively impacted by the tragic events in Angola.

The biggest tournament in world football will take place on the African continent for the first time in June, but in the wake of the attack on the Togo football team's bus - which has seen three confirmed dead - there have been calls to review the safety protocols in place at both the African Nations Cup and World Cup.

But Jordaan claimed that to suggest an association between events in Angola and the finals in South Africa, would be tantamount to stopping the 2006 World Cup in Germany because of a war elsewhere in Europe.

"It's nothing to do with it and I think everybody understands it has nothing to do with South Africa," he said. "When there was a bomb in London no-one said we should not have 2012 in London so we cannot have double standards."

"It has no impact on our World Cup," Jordaan told Reuters from Luanda where he is to act as match commissioner for Sunday's Nations Cup opener between Angola and Mali.

"The world understands that sovereign countries are responsible for their own safety and security and to say what happened in Angola impacts on the World Cup in South Africa is the same as suggesting that when a bomb goes off in Spain, it threatens London's ability to host the next Olympics.

"It is nonsensical for South Africa to be tainted with what happens in Angola, which is not even one of our neighbouring countries."

"I don't think the world has ever asked one country to take responsibility for what happens in another country."

"Fortunately the majority of the world is not influenced by warped understanding of the African continent," he said. "If there is a war in Kosovo and a World Cup in Germany, no-one asks if the World Cup can go on in Germany, everyone understands the war in Kosovo is a war in Kosovo.

Jordaan offered his sympathies to Nations Cup hosts Angola, admitting the bus attack was a blow for the country but re-iterated his frustrations with the world "tainting" South Africa with the same brush.

"I feel very sorry for the Angolans because they have spent billions on fixing up their cities and building infrastructure for this tournament. This was going to be the event that would mark their transition from decades of war to a new social and economic order. In that context, it's a blow."

"The world must be balanced and must not apply different standards when it comes to the African continent. Our World Cup is secure and we are confident because we have employed a lot of resources to safeguard the event in our country."

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