Page last updated at 16:56 GMT, Friday, 7 May 2010 17:56 UK

SA police chief 'prays' US are knocked out of World Cup

South African police chief Bheki Cele on 9 April
General Cele said his forces were equal to the task of providing security

South Africa's police chief is hoping the US team are knocked out of the football World Cup early on - to avoid a visit by President Barack Obama.

General Bheki Cele told MPs Mr Obama could fly in if the US make it to the knockout stage.

"Our famous prayer is that the Americans don't make the second round," he said, while insisting his forces could provide sufficient security.

He said 43 heads of state would go to South Africa for the Cup.

It is the first world cup being hosted by any African nation.

On Friday, thousands of South Africans queued for hours in Cape Town's Khayelitsha township to have their photo taken with the World Cup trophy.

The solid gold trophy is starting a month-long tour of the country before the World Cup starts on 11 June.

However, protocol dictates that only heads of state and tournament winners are allowed to actually touch it.

On its arrival, the trophy was taken by Fifa head Jerome Valcke to Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg.


SA glee as World Cup goes on show

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific