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Page last updated at 14:56 GMT, Saturday, 19 June 2010 15:56 UK

Beckham plays down fan's World Cup dressing room breach

Beckham and Princes William and Harry
Beckham (centre) with Princes William and Harry in Johannesburg

David Beckham has played down an incident in which a fan breached security and walked into the England dressing room.

The fan walked unchallenged into the dressing room after England's dismal goalless draw with Algeria on Friday.

Princes William and Harry had only just left the room when the incident happened but Beckham said there was no scuffle or aggression.

"He didn't comment on the performance, he walked in, said hello," he said.

"The actual fan literally just walked in very casually and just said something to me and then walked out - there was no scuffle, there was no aggression at all."

The intruder was escorted out shortly afterwards.

The injured England midfielder's comments came during an FA reception in Johannesburg attended by the two Princes and a host of former soccer stars, including Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Manchester City player Patrick Vieira.

Director of communications for the Football Association Adrian Bevington

FA spokesman on security lapse

Beckham, who gave a joint interview with the royals at the event, said: "Luckily it was after the Princes had left - five to 10 minutes after. Obviously it's been blown out of all proportion as well."

Prince William also downplayed the incident, joking: "Harry and I left the door open, that's why it happened, it was our fault."

The Football Association has, however, been angered by the incident and has made a complaint about the breach of security to World Cup organisers Fifa.

"This is not acceptable and thankfully no serious harm was done," read an FA statement on Friday evening.

Fifa spokesperson

Fifa - security will be tightened

"There is a lot of Fifa security in the stadium but unfortunately one fan got through all of that and managed to get into the dressing room after the game but thankfully no real harm other than a few verbals," said Adrian Bevington, managing director of Club England.

The FA will expect security to be watertight as England head to Port Elizabeth for their final Group C match against Slovenia on Wednesday 23 June.

"Thankfully no real damage done but we got to make sure this can't happen again for us or for any other team," added Bevington.

Fifa spokesman Nicolas Maingot said the governing body was not prepared to lay blame until the matter was further investigated.

"It is of course totally unacceptable for Fifa that a fan finds his way up into a dressing room of any participating team at any Fifa competition," he stated.

"This has been discussed at the daily security meeting of the local organisers, police and Fifa. Security will be tight to ensure it will never happen again."

Wayne Rooney

Rooney blasts booing England fans

England's travelling fans showed their displeasure with their team's efforts by booing them off the pitch at the end of their second group game.

Striker Wayne Rooney looked into a TV camera and said: "Nice to see your own fans booing you, that's what loyal support is".



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see also
England display confuses Capello
19 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
England v Algeria photos
18 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Capello opts for James over Green
18 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010


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