Football fans miss out on World Cup in South Africa due to safety fears
Fears over their own personal safety have deterred football fans from booking tickets to watch this year's World Cup in South Africa, according to a recent survey.
More than half of those questioned said fear of crime and attacks in cities like Cape Town would prevent them from travelling to the World Cup tournament this summer. And three-quarters of football fans who are travelling to South Africa to the World Cup next month admitted they were concerned for their safety.
The South African Tourist Board responded by saying that world-class security would be in place and security at stadiums across the country where matches will be played has been tightened considerably.
More than half a million Britons visit South Africa every year and crimes against tourists are very low, but holidaymakers and football fans seem to have been put off by stories of crime told by people who used to live in South Africa.
A spokesman for the tourist board said: We encourage people to be vigilant and not to take any unnecessary risks and they will be assured of having a wonderful time in South Africa.""
The UK Foreign Office said that although the crime level in South Africa was very high, most occurs in townships and isolated areas away from the normal tourist destinations.
Last year, 136 Britons sought the help of the British Consul in South Africa; there were 48 British deaths, 23 Britons ended up in hospital and 23 were arrested for various offences.