The Man in charge of the upcoming World Cup in South Africa, Danny Jordan, has lashed out at critics linking the ‘terrorist’ attack on the Togo national football team in Cabinda, Angola, to security fears in South Africa when it hosts the world cup in June.
Jordan’s irritation came in the wake of concerns and fears highlighted by critics, especially in the western media, that last Friday’s ambush of the Togolese football team that left three dead has raised fear over the safety of football players and fans in South Africa.
“Why are people suddenly applying double standards? When there are terror attacks in Europe, do we hear that the 2012 Olympics being under threat? NO!” Jordan quizzed.
“Angola and South Africa are two separate geographical areas, two separate countries. Besides, the African Cup of Nations is not the World Cup,” he said defensively after arriving in Angola for yesterday’s opening game.
Jordan was particularly infuriated by the comparison of a recovering war-torn Angola and a politically-stable South Africa. “Angola was locked up in civil war for many years but, on the terrorism index, South Africa hardly features. All cowardly action must be condemned and I’ll be fully briefed about what happened – but no country can take responsibility for the security of another. We cannot be called for the security of Angola, which is far removed from South Africa.”
The South Africa football strongman continued to attack the hypocritical standard Africa has fallen victim to. “Terrorism is largely absent from Africa. It hits London, Spain and New York. And look at the countries sending army to fight terrorists. Do we hear that the 2012 Olympics being under threat?” he questioned.
He however said the attack on Togo was unfortunate and that he was sad it happened, adding that Angola has spent about a billion US Dollars on the tournament and had worked hard to improve infrastructure. “It’s the fastest growing economy in Africa and they worked so incredibly hard. It’s sad and unfortunate this happened,” he said.
Meanwhile, some Premier League bosses said they will not be asking their players to leave Angola and had hoped Togo stayed to participate in the tournament. Arsenal’s manager, Arsene Wenger said: “You cannot allow terrorism to win. I will not be asking for the release of Eboue and Song. You cannot allow the competition to be stopped because if you let that happen then it can happen at anytime. I personally feel that the competition has to go on. Now it is left to the international federations to make sure that the security is good enough.”
David Moyes, Everton manager, whose players are also in the cup of nations maintained that giving terrorists a chance by pulling out of the tournament sent a wrong signal.
Yesterday’s opening match between Angola and Mali ended 4-4. Mali fought back from 4-0 down to draw. They put up a stunning fight with 11 minutes to go to earn one point.