SPORTS> Soccer
New hotel theft reported at Confeds Cup
(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-06-24 10:41

JOHANNESBURG: A member of the Brazilian delegation in the Confederations Cup says money and a jacket were stolen from his hotel room, police said on Monday, the second such incident reported during the tournament.

Police spokesperson Sally De Beer said the official laid a complaint of theft after discovering cash and a team jacket missing from his hotel room in Pretoria.

"The alleged theft apparently occurred while the team was away from their hotel on Thursday, June 18, 2009. The incident was reported to the South African Police Service on Sunday, June 21, and a case has been opened and is being investigated," she said.

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Centurion Lake Hotel, where the team is staying, said it was cooperating with the investigation.

"The money which allegedly went missing was in his room, not in a safe, which was provided," hotel manager Robert Hodson told AFP.

Egyptian players earlier reported that money was stolen from their hotel rooms in Johannesburg on Thursday.

However local newspapers said the squad had invited women to their room who apparently made off with their money.

South Africa insists the incidents have not compromised the security of the two-week event, seen as a curtain-raiser to next year's World Cup.

"Both the incidents are isolated cases. They will not put a dampener on the games. It is a very unfortunate incident," Fikile Mbalula, deputy minister of police, told reporters.

"We appeal to all the teams and visitors to work with us and follow safety precautions," said Mbalula.

South Africa battles one of the world's worst crime rates with heavily beefed up security details in place for the Confederations Cup, and the theft had heightened concerns about safety during the World Cup.

On Wednesday, one of the stadiums built for the 2010 World Cup, but not being used for the Confederations Cup, was attacked by armed robbers after an international rugby match with the touring British and Irish Lions.