It has already begun. Within minutes of the World Cup draw on Friday, Sky News reporters were commenting on how fortunate England were not to be playing in crime-ridden Johannesburg. The Times took up the same theme yesterday, warning that British tour operators would offer armed guards for fans travelling to World Cup matches. A German security firm has already advised their national team to wear flak jackets whenever they step outside their hotel.
South Africa has one of the highest crimes rates in the world, but it also attracts nine million tourists a year. Every major city in the world has places you wouldn’t recommend visitors go to after dark. South Africa has successfully held cricket and rugby world cups and is currently hosting the England cricket team. Are any of the Barmy Army protected by armed guards? Is Andrew Strauss holed up in his hotel room, refusing to come out without a flak jacket?
From my column in today’s Independent on Sunday. The rest is here.