New Zealand opts for private security at World Cup

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand has hired a private security firm to guard its players during this year's World Cup in South Africa, New Zealand Football told local media on Wednesday.

Chief executive Michael Glading told the New Zealand Herald his organization had engaged a South African contractor whose firm had previously provided security within South Africa for the All Blacks and the Wellington Hurricanes rugby teams.

World Cup organizers have spent an estimated $220 million on security around the Cup and have assured competing teams that every step will be taken to ensure their safety at the tournament. Glading said New Zealand would be among a number of countries which had put in place additional arrangements.

"We have hired a South African to oversee our security," Glading said. "He will link with the security FIFA provide and liaise between them and the team.

"We have hired his company so we are not sure if he will be by himself or comes with an army, but he has a reputation as one of the best in the business," he added. "FIFA are encouraging countries to have their own security as well as what they provide."


New Zealand will be based near Johannesburg throughout the tournament and will fly to the venues of its pool matches against Slovakia, Paraguay and Italy.

Italy and Germany are among nations that have already indicated they will have private security throughout the Cup, and Australia has said it will use "some local resources."

Glading said the use of private contractors was prudent.

"Since the attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team (in Pakistan last year), all sporting teams have to be aware of their security," he said.

"It depends on where you go, but Africa would be one of the main danger areas. It's no great secret that South Africa is a country with a high crime rate so security will be important."

Glading said the New Zealand government might also send a small detachment of police to South Africa to assist in the protection of players, officials and their families.

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