A recent Guardian article graphically highlighted the dangers awaiting fans in the urban warfare experience that is modern South Africa.
The journalist first quotes excerpts from official Foreign Office travel advice:
“In all areas of South Africa you should be cautious when out after dark.” “Vigilance” is demanded “at all times” in Durban.
On the subject of transport, the picture isn’t much better. A road heading towards Jo'burg is described by one source as “like snorkelling in a sewer filled with squid ink”.
Later, we read that an Austrian ex-footballer was shot dead in Durban during the draw for the qualifiers. Oh, and nearly 20% of the population has HIV.
Add all this up and the tournament should have been awarded to Egypt or Morocco instead. This is interesting, because the same Foreign Office the journalist quoted says “There is a high threat from terrorism in Egypt. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers, such as hotels and restaurants.” Or football grounds.
As for Morocco, “You should be aware that there is a threat of kidnapping in the immediate and wider regions and particular care should be taken in remote regions and border areas. You should have confidence in your individual security arrangements and maintain a high level of vigilance.” Especially if you’re a foreigner heading to a football match.
I could go on. Anyway, here’s the article in full: