Cops deal with Cameroon ticket debacle

The police on Monday asked the International Relations Department to speak to the Cameroon High...

The Cameroonian soccer squad defending a free kick. Picture: AFP.

The police on Monday asked the International Relations Department to speak to the <?xml:namespace prefix="st1" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"?><country-region w:st="on">Cameroon</country-region> High Commission to avoid a repeat of what happened outside Loftus in <city w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Pretoria on Saturday night.<?xml:namespace prefix="o" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"?>

Shortly before the 8:30pm kick-off, police re-enforcements had to be called in to deal with about 300 Cameroon fans who were trying to force their way into the stadium.

Police officers in riot gear and the mounted unit responded swiftly to calls from FIFA volunteers who were faced with angry supporters intent on getting into the stadium.

The fans said they were promised free tickets to watch their team play against <place w:st="on"><country-region w:st="on">Denmark</country-region> and they were at the stadium to pick them up.

However, the high commission distanced itself from the incident, with an official saying it was the Cameroon Football Federation that was handing out free tickets.

The federation could not be reached for comment.

Free tickets were apparently handed out at the match against <country-region w:st="on">Japan</country-region> in <city w:st="on"><place w:st="on">Bloemfontein last Monday, which may have led the fans to believe they would get free tickets at Loftus.

The police’s Sally de Beer said the matter was discussed at their daily joint operations meeting and it was being dealt with to avoid further incidents.

<country-region w:st="on">Cameroon</country-region> will play against <country-region w:st="on"><place w:st="on">North Korea</country-region> in Nelspruit on Friday.