Security concerns at World Cup

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:19 PM ET

JOHANNESBURG - Through the first two days of South Africa 2010, the invigorating atmosphere inside the various stadia has been second to none.

The security outside the stadiums, at least for reporters? Practically none.

While FIFA prides itself on being cutting edge when it comes to running big events such as the World Cup, its disorganization in some aspects is curious, to say the least.

Yes, there are metal detectors at the gates the media must pass through in order to get to the media centre at its World Cup venues.

But they are not used very efficiently at all, an alarming circumstance for an event and organization that should know better.

For a second consecutive day - this time at Ellis Park Stadium - yours truly slipped through the gate without having his computer bag either checked or run through the machine.

It is certainly a head-scratching way to ensure the safety of such a big tournament, especially since there usually are at least five or six security guards checking incoming media and fans at every gate.

Inside, the media room has been just as chaotic.

Under FIFA's setup, reporters who are not on the original approval list for any particular game still have a shot at receiving a ticket to sit in the media section of a stadium.

One hour before kickoff, officials begin calling out names of reporters, lucky recipients who finally get a ducat into the joint.

But when that process took place at the Ellis Park media centre Saturday, reporters swarmed the ticket desk trying to scoop up one, crushing each other in a stampede of ink-stained wretches.

Veteran scribes claim this seemingly antiquated way of handing out tickets has been going on for years. Maybe so.

But, much like the security issues here, there definitely must be a better way of doing things, both at the gates and in terms of distribution.

mike.zeisberger@sunmedia.ca


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