Police step in to handle World Cup stadium security

An extra 900 police officers have been deployed to Cape Town and Durban to take over security inside stadia after stewards walked out over a wage dispute.

Organizers exercised a contingency plan after around 500 staff, employed by a private security company, left their posts.

That ensured tonight’s Group F fixture between World Cup holders Italy and Paraguay in Cape Town’s Green Point Stadium was unaffected by the industrial action.

“Gates have opened, the police are in control and the match will kick off as scheduled,” organizers said in a statement.

A spokesman at the World Cup joint command center said: “Those 900 officers are in addition to the police already in place and is nearly double what had been present in terms of private security staff.”

The situation is likely to continue for the remainder of the tournament as organizers are likely to cancel contracts with the security firm.

“We have certain guarantees that were taken out by the government that [stated] if people did not comply with their contracts they could be terminated,” added the spokesman.

Security staff walked out after talks today with the organizing committee and Stallion Security Consortium.

In Durban yesterday police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse about 400 stadium workers protesting about being under-paid after Germany’s 4-0 win over Australia in Group D.

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