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June 11, 2010

South African Police Crack Down on Crime, Rowdy Fans

South African police say they have detained and will deport a suspected British football hooligan as the country ratchets up efforts to crack down on crime and misbehaving fans while hosting the World Cup tournament.

Police spokeswoman Sally de Beer said the 42-year-old man has a history of inciting racially motivated violence at sporting events.

Police have already deported 11 suspected Argentine hooligans ahead of the games.

Separately, a South African Court has sentenced three men for robbing three foreign World Cup journalists at gunpoint last week and taking cash and equipment.  Two of the men were sentenced to 15 years in prison, while the other received four years.  

That case and money stolen from the Greek team's hotel rooms has put an unflattering spotlight on the country's high crime rate.

Police have promised to deal with criminal activity swiftly, and they are increasing security around venues such as Ellis stadium in Johannesburg, where Argentina played Nigeria Saturday, due to surrounding neighborhoods notorious for crime.

A heavy security presence is also expected at the England versus United States game later Saturday in northwestern Rustenburg.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.