Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Germans to Wear Bullet-Proof Vests at SA2010?

Germans in armor?

Could be, if the report in a German sports publication is correct.

A German sports magazine is reporting that a security firm recommends bullet-proof vests whenever its players stray outside the security perimeter of team hotels during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

That probably won't play well with South Africa boosters ... but we already have established that it is a country with the second-highest murder rate in the world, both in terms of raw numbers and per capita killings, behind only Colombia.

The feeling here is that national teams will be safe. Not even thugs want to interrupt a World Cup.

I suppose the risk is ... not knowing that those little guys over there are German soccer players, and not young, carefree tourists who may have a lot of money in their pockets.

It will be interesting to see if other national teams follow suit. The United States team often seems to feel under siege whenever it goes to another country. England and Spain have been targets of terror groups; might their teams, as well?

The gist of this seems to be that the Germans fear random street crime. If it were you or me, just walking around, that might be a legitimate concern. But as long as German players are dressed as soccer players ... they ought to be safe.

I'm guessing the bullet-proof vest thing will be ignored. And one good reason will be the (probably) needless paranoia it might inspire in a team with realistic aspirations of winning the tournament.
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