PRETORIA, South Africa, November 27 – Police will guard the 16 teams participating in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa around the clock, organisers said Tuesday, after children threw rocks that injured a Zambia player recently.
“After the last event with the players, security will be provided to all our teams over 24 hours,” deputy police minister Maggie Sotyu told a news conference in the capital Pretoria.
“Buses carrying players will be escorted by police at all times.”
Despite security measures two boys threw rocks at the Zambian players’ bus in Johannesburg on November 14.
Goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene suffered a small glass cut to his face during the incident, which happened as the African champions were leaving the FNB Stadium following a friendly against South Africa.
“We did not anticipate what would happen, hence we did not have security escort,” said Sotyu.
The stadium, also known as Soccer City, will host the opening and closing matches of the Africa Cup. It was the venue of the 2010 World Cup opening and final.
Teams will clash for the continental title in South Africa from January 19 to February 10 next year.
No glass bottles or cans will be allowed inside the stadiums and drinks will be sold in plastic containers.
Reserve policemen will also be on standby. Police handled much of the security in the World Cup after wardens refused to work demanding better pay and conditions.