The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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SA govt steps in to allay fears

Durban: The South African government on Tuesday stepped in to allay security fears surrounding the World Cup, saying the elaborate safety measures put up by the organising committee would make the event the safest for players.

“As the government of the primary host country, the South African government is satisfied with the security plans. Accordingly, it believes that the cricket World Cup will proceed in a safe and secure environment in all the three host countries,” the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) said.

The World Cup, starting Saturday, will be hosted jointly by South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya. While South Africa are to host the bulk of the 54 matches, Zimbabwe and Kenya are to host six and two matches respectively.

However, Australia, England and New Zealand have expressed reservations to play in those countries citing growing political unrest and terrorist threats.

The GCIS said the cabinet committee dealing with security matters received a comprehensive briefing on security arrangements from the CWC organising committee and noted that, with the arrival of several teams in South Africa, some of the security arrangements were already being implemented according to plan. The government rejected attempts to cast unfounded doubts on the competency of any of the host countries,” the GCIS said.

The South African government was critical of attempts by Australia, New Zealand and England to move their fixtures from Zimbabwe and Kenya because of security reasons.

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