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Tuesday, 16 April, 2002, 14:39 GMT 15:39 UK

Japan spreads out safety net

Arrive at a World Cup game with confetti, an umbrella or frozen food and you could well find yourself turned away.

The eclectic trio are among a series of products spectators are banned from bringing into grounds during this summer's tournament as part of wider ranging measures by Japanese organisers.

Plastic bottles and stones are also on the danger list for objects which may be "considered as intended to be thrown".

However there is an umbrella caveat - some will be given the all clear if "judged harmless by the security personnel".

Japanese organisers (JAWOC) have imposed a series of far-reaching rules to ensure spectator safety this summer.

Security measures

  • Multi-lingual water cannons
  • Spider-mesh guns
  • Stadia no fly zones
  • Confetti, umbrella and frozen food bans
  • Two-hour ground checks
  • Troublesome fans could find themselves trapped under Spiderman-like nets, with security staff employing net guns to contain any problems.

    And the gadgets, for a country renowned for its technological advances, do not stop there.

    An alternative crowd restraint to the spider-mesh are multi-cultural water cannons which warn rioters in six languages before opening fire.

    Fears have been raised that a police department unaccustomed to hooligans may over-react when the tournament begins on 31 May.

    British police "spotters", though, are to be employed to advise officials on the difference between boisternousness and a rowdy, violent crowd.

    Whatever the outcome, one thing JAWOC has promised is that it will be a case of "security with a smile".

    Ebola drill

    In the wake of 11 September, security will be at a peak with no-fly zones imposed above all stadia.

    Visitors to all grounds are expected to have airport-style security checks ahead of every match, with checks sometimes taking as long as two hours.

    And, to ensure that every avenue is pursued, 130 people have even practised a drill to deal with a passenger arriving in Japan with the ebola virus.

    The exercise involved 130 quarantine staff and medical officials at Kansai International Airport and led to a passenger jet with an imaginary ebola victim guided to a special parking spot.


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