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Monday, January 30, 2006
FIFA chief's Nations Cup saftey fears

Organisers of the African Nations Cup have moved to quell fears warning of a potential disaster if stadium safety at the tournament is not improved.

The head of security for FIFA, Walter Gagg, voiced his concerns following chaotic scenes during Saturday's clash between Egypt and the Ivory Coast at the Cairo International Stadium.

It is reported thousands of people entered the arena to watch the game without tickets, leading Gagg - who also heads security for the CAF - to warn officials of impending danger if such scenes are repeated.

Khaled Abdel Aziz, manager of the tournament's local organising committee, has vowed to implement stricter safety procedures at forthcoming matches at the stadium, but insists there were no serious security issues during Saturday's encounter.

'There were minor problems in a certain area, which we dealt with on the spot, but there were no risks involved at any point in time since many parts of the stadium were still empty,' said Abdel Aziz.

'I will meet today with the head of security and officials from Cairo International Stadium to enforce tighter measures that will guarantee the safety and easy entrance of fans.'

Abdel Aziz was keen to stress that electronic gates were being used at spectator entrances, adding: 'No-one can enter the stadium without a ticket.'

A capacity crowd of 74,000 is expected for Egypt's quarter-final against DR Congo at the stadium on Friday.

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