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Forum: Will next year's World Cup be safe?
South African stadium seating
In the latest issue of our magazine, Deane-Peter Baker and Vishnu Naidoo debate whether a terrorist attack is likely to happen during the 2010 World Cup football tournament in South Africa.

What's your view?

Do you think the tournament will be the target of an attack?

Would the possibility of terror activities put you off going?

As South Africa prepares for the event, the country is putting a huge amount of money and resources into security.

But will it be enough to ensure that football supporters and players are kept safe?

Join the Focus Forum

To take part in the debate simply fill in the form on the right. A selection of your comments will appear below.

Wany Nyok Nhial, Malakal, Sudan:

Really, it may happen that terrorists come in. We can not be sure or say that the 2010 World Cup football tournament in South Africa will be safe because even the other continents of the world are full of illegal terrorists

Alvin Kear, Rivergee, Liberia

What happened in a great country like America could happen in a little country like South Africa. So FIFA need to keep security around each player leaving for that great tournament

Derick Westhuysen, Cape Town, South Africa

There will be no terrorist attack in the normal sense of the word. However local criminals, who are mostly armed with the famous R1 and R3 army rifles and with AK47’s, are more likely to stage large scale roadside robberies. These gangs are better armed than the police

Mohaman Adamou Mohadam, Ngaoundere, Cameroon

I do not know why people are talking about terrorist attacks. Is it because it is the first time the World Cup is taking place on African soil? We showed the world that we can ensure security better than anywhere else when we hosted the Rugby World Cup

Kutubu Koroma, Wellington, Sierra Leone

I don't believe that there will be a terrorist attack. This is a western plot to make Africa look insecure. China hosted the Olympics and we got all sorts of comments and views. It is true that every country is vulnerable to terrorist attacks particularly western nations

Jamall Jama, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

It is a shame to even mention terrorism in Africa, especially on an event like this. The tournament will be a success and a lesson to the critics of our beautiful continent. Soccer brings solidarity and peace, not terrorism and brutality

Terry S. Morgan, Monrovia, Liberia:

The 2010 World Cup is not only being hosted by South Africa alone but by the whole of Africa. Let all Africans become security conscious for the success of the tournament. Others may create conditions to make us look bad. Let us prove them wrong. If we are united, as Africans there will be no terror activities. United we stand, divided we fall, not only in South Africa, but the entire continent

Eric-Kenny. O Maduagwu, Awka, Nigeria:

One may oppose the possibility of a terrorist attack during the World Cup. That will not change the fact that a well planned attack can be succesfully carried out during the tournament. The challenges facing the security agencies therefore is to prepare themselves very well against an attack. They should simulate all possible conditions during an attack and be ready for rapid response in case of any eventuality. In such a high profile tournament involving 32 countries with over 50 billion viewers and enough time to plan, some terrorist organisations might see a rare opportunity to register their presence and make themselves relevant. With over 129 terrorist organisations and about 55 of them very active, one can not defend the position that none of the participating countries is in the bad books of the terrorists

Israel Ambe Ayongwa, Jonkoping, Sweden:

I trust the media for its penchant for scare tactics and worst-case scenario arguments. Sadly enough, the Beeb seems to be falling into line with the same pattern of today's nascent journalism. God willing, South Africa will put up a fine show with hosting a secure and safe World Cup. Be optimistic

Mohammed Konneh; North Carolina, Charlotte, USA:

The atmosphere at the tournament in South Africa will be unique and there will be no terrorist activities but disturbances cannot be ruled out among the various fans at this prestigious event in 2010

 I feel that the possibility of a terrorist attack is a delicate issue which has been exposed by the media
Harry Adigidzi Aaron, Jos, Nigeria

Harry Adigidzi Aaron, Jos, Nigeria:

I am not so happy with this debate because I feel that the possibility of a terrorist attack is a delicate issue which has been exposed by the media thereby giving terrorists a reason to consider it and putting the security operatives on their toes. The security operatives should work towards tackling the prevailing issues and must be mindful not to leave any space for the unusual to happen. The World Cup is a global showpiece, so I don't think an attack is possible because of the spread of the passion for the game and the risk of hurting their own

Alfred Kanray Thulla, Den Haag, The Netherlands:

The South African authorities must not be complacent in dealing with the security of all football venues during the tournament. Terrorists are people that we must not trust. If terrorists can attack places of worship; children's homes; hotels; aeroplanes etc, they may also attack football stadia. The aim of a hardened terrorist is to gain recognition. Let us not bank on the fact that nothing of this sort had ever happened before. I am of the opinion that terrorists are like thieves who come at the time you least expect them. They are also like death which knocks at your door at the time that life is sweetest. The security of the players and all visitors should be guaranteed even before the start of the competition

Valery Zuma, Shenzhen, China:

I knew that this would be another way the Western media would paint a dark picture about Africa. You Americans and Europeans will never let the world see Africa as a good place to live. You always say bad things about Africa that have never happened. What do you gain from this? Is South Africa the only country in the world with urban crime? One hardly hears of the crimes in Britain and the US on BBC or CNN. Now we have had the chance to show our true pride to the world, you have come up with another topic to scare fans away. Terrorists have their targets and their reasons. Check yourself well. How are we sure that you, the Westerners, will not pay terrorists to spoil the show in South Africa to achieve your final aim of looking at Africa as an insecure continent

William Kokulo, Monrovia, Liberia:

There is no doubt that there is fear hanging over the coming World Cup in South Africa. I am afraid about going to South Africa, come 2010. The death of a female football star in South Africa a few months ago has placed a dark cloud over South Africa's security. May God protect the players and the many spectators

Stephen Topaco, Gulu, Uganda:

No, I don't think the tournament would be a target of an attack. After all, everyone would be happy and enjoying the game, more especially the Africans who are hosts. People from other continents would be happy as well to explore Africa for the first time. So, I see peace rather than terror

 It shall be the best event ever
Bruno Musunga Mwimba, Ndola, Zambia

Bruno Musunga Mwimba, Ndola, Zambia:

It shall be the best event ever. All shall be well as all Africans have already owned the games and shall even win the Cup

Cornelius Formukoro, Johannesburg, South Africa:

I think the first thing to talk about is the stadium. It should be very strong and the security of the players should also be strong so that what happened at the Confederation Cup will not be repeated, where some players where robbed in their hotel room

Felix Akam, Abakaliki, Nigeria:

Well, it's good to feel security conscious but I think too much concern is being raised over 2010 World Cup safety. I do not doubt that terrorists always have more than two surprises under their sleeves, yet South Africa may be their unlikely target. Should that happen, then this publicity may have contributed in pushing the terrorists to think along that line. Why not stop this publicity and allow the security experts to plan their strategies. I'm afraid that this debate is not a solution but part of the problem

Mariama Pabai, Amagashine Junction, Monrovia, Liberia:

I have no doubt that there will be some disturbances but not a terrorist attack so let us pray for the good side

Conde Souleymane, Texas, United States:

South africa is not a safe place. The country is full of crimes and killings. All this will encourage the terrorists to strike although we are not praying for that. All the government should do is to control the crime rate. If they don't a lot of people will not go

 There will be no terrorist attacks because the terrorists will need a break from their years of attacks to enjoy the matches
Clifford Braimah, Cranfield, United Kingdom

Clifford Braimah, Cranfield, United Kingdom:

Football has become the passion of the world and nothing should be done to take the passion away by making fans look over their shoulders instead of enjoying their favourite teams play. There will be no terrorist attacks because the terrorists will need a break from their years of attacks to enjoy the matches. During soccer tournaments enemies become friends by embracing each other when their teams win

Jehan Tuapattinaya, Ambon, Indonesia:

I am happy because the World Cup football tournament is in South Africa

Feysal Ali, Washington, DC, USA:

I would like to believe it would be safe. I was in South Africa this past July and I did not experience any problems, the country is great, the hospitality was joyful but the people were not friendly. Let us hope for the best

Kizito Achuil Manyuat Tong, Kuajok, South Sudan:

I think it will be safe. First of all, there is pressure on South Africa to set an example for the rest of Africa. On the other hand, South Africa will be very concerned about security to avoid spoiling its image abroad

 However much we abhor terrorism we should not give it the phsychological advantage over events that bring the world together
Nicholas Karani Njebi, Meru, Kenya

Nicholas Karani Njebi, Meru, Kenya:

No terrorist attack is going to happen in the coming World Cup games in South Africa. It would be very difficult for terrorists to repeat what they were able to achieve in Atlanta. I would not fear going there because I view that as paranoia. Terrorists strike anywhere e.g. Kenya in 1998. I believe South Africa, as the most developed nation in Africa, is able to mobilise enough resources to ensure a safe World Cup for all, whatever their caste or creed. However much we abhor terrorism we should not give it the phsychological advantage over events that bring the world together

Winnie Senneh, Monrovia, Liberia:

Yes indeed, I am afraid, especially because of the increase in the crime rate in South Africa and I still remember the death of the South African reggae star, Lucky Dube. I hope the world takes the advice of your regular writer, William Kokulo as he rightly put it in his letter 'securing the fans', in one of your editions

Maja Jallow, Serrekunda, The Gambia:

It could be a high target, but let the West assist in preventing it from happening

 Nothing will happen because football is neither an enemy nor a friend
Farxaan Ahmed, Nairobi, Kenya

Farxaan Ahmed, Nairobi, Kenya:

Nothing will happen because football is neither an enemy nor a friend

Tammam Farran, Accra, Ghana:

Yes, I believe a terrorist attack could happen, although I hope it doesn't of course, due to the high crime rate that already exists in South Africa. Their police cannot do anything about preventing crime and terrorist attacks. A country should have a strong intelligence which I don't think they, or any of the sub-Saharan African countries have, so I will not even think of going there

Sena Nani, Ayanfuri, Ghana:

None of the African countries can be the high priority target of any of the terrorist groups in the world, but the impending World Cup in South Africa is enough to raise eyebrows

Umar Abdulhamid, Kaduna, Nigeria:

The issue of security is very vital to human development. I would like to see a high powered, more efficient security during the World Cup

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