FA inspect stadium ahead of England match

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The Independent Online

Football Association officials went on another visit to the stadium for this afternoon's match between England and the Platinum Stars to ensure all safety precautions have been taken.

In the light of yesterday's problems at the friendly between Nigeria and North Korea in Johannesburg, fears about fan safety during the World Cup have been heightened.

Senior FA staff and their own security advisors met with World Cup organisers, the police and other local agencies at the England hotel yesterday evening to discuss the problems, which left 14 spectators requiring hospital treatment.

It was decided a further site visit should be undertaken, just to confirm the correct procedures were in place.

World Cup organisers have confirmed this morning that they are not responsible for either the organisation, supporter management, or issuing of tickets for this afternoon's game at the 20,000-capacity Moruleng ground near Rustenburg.

However, they have spoken with the FA to ensure all relevant safety procedures have been taken.

"We take safety very seriously," said an FA spokesman.

South African police and other local agencies are responsible for getting supporters in and out of the stadium today, although the FA feel they have taken one significant step already by limiting the number of tickets to 12,000, well below capacity.

After expressing their sadness at events yesterday, FIFA were quick to point out the world governing body were not responsible for the organisational chaos which ensued less than a week before the finals get under way.

A statement read: "FIFA and the OC would like to first wish a prompt recovery to those who have been affected by these incidents.

"In addition, FIFA and the OC would like to reiterate that this friendly match has no relation whatsoever with the operational organisation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, for which we remain fully confident.

"Contrary to some media reports, FIFA had nothing to do with the ticketing of this game."

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