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FIFA President Says Germany World Cup Will Be Safe, Clean


The President of FIFA, Joseph Blatter says he is confident Germany has taken all measures needed to ensure a safe, clean and entertaining World Cup. He says the games will kick off on June 9 with a match between Germany and Costa Rica.

In less than two months from now, FIFA President, Joseph Blatter, says the World Cup, for one month, will allow people to forget the misery of the world.

Blatter is very upbeat about the games. He says he has no concerns about security or the possibility of a terrorist attack. Nor is he worried about safety of the 12 German football stadiums that will be used.

He says he personally intervened to make sure the Olympic stadium in Berlin posed no dangers.

"Now, they have prepared so many bridges that practically, the people they can escape in front, as it had not been foreseen at the beginning," he said. "But it has been foreseen that the people could escape climbing up. And, this is not good because when there is, whatever it could be, a panic, then you run down and you do not run up. But, now details have been settled with the security in the stadium."

Blatter says there, no doubt, will be some people who will want to disturb the World Cup. But, he says most visitors want peaceful games and he is sure hooliganism will be kept to a minimum.

For example, he says known rabble-rousers from Great Britain will not be allowed to enter Germany.

"The security measures in Germany, they have taken a decision, a political decision that in cases of necessity, the Schengen treaty could not be observed," he explained. "It means that everybody has to present a passport when traveling in Europe."

The lead-up to the World Cup has been mired in controversy. Besides concerns for safety, questions have been raised about doping and widespread racism among players and within football clubs.

To allay these concerns, Blatter says FIFA has a very tough policy against doping and notes that last year, the organization conducted 22,000 doping controls around the world. He says FIFA has put in place a number of sanctions against players found guilty of racism.

The FIFA president says he is looking forward to the games in Germany, but admits he is already thinking about the 2010 World Cup that will be held in South Africa. He says he is pleased to note that all the people who said Africa would be a financial disaster for the World Cup have been proven wrong.

"The contracts we have already signed for 2010, they are higher than the contracts for 2006 in Germany ... about 25 percent," he noted. "And, this means that the football is good, the football is an exceptionally good product and we have to take care about this product . The market trusts Africa and this is important. The market trusts Africa. They do not know who is going to play in Africa because the qualification is not made."

Germany has invested more than $1.5 billion to make the 12 stadiums fit for the World Cup. It expects between 200,000 and 400,000 people to attend the games. Blatter says more than 60 percent of the tickets on sale will be available for ordinary people.

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