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THE attack on Togo's national football team in Angola has again highlighted the security issues facing South Africa as it prepares to host the World Cup later this year.
However, the local organisers - and former World Cup-winning coaches Franz Beckenbauer and Marcello Lippi - remain confident South Africa will put on a peaceful tournament.
"Of course, the shock at the terrible events sits deep," said Beckenbauer, three days after three people were killed and two Togo players were wounded in the attack on the Togo team. "But it would be a mistake if we Europeans lumped together South Africa and Angola.
"Perhaps the African Cup of Nations (Afcon) came a bit too early for Angola," Beckenbauer told the German daily Bild. "By contrast, South Africa is the continent's economic nation."
Despite Friday's attack, the three-week, 16-team Afcon opened on Sunday in Luanda with Mali rallying for a 4-4 draw against Angola after being down 4-0 late in the match.
President Jacob Zuma attended the match.
The first World Cup to be played on African soil will open on June 11 with hosts South Africa facing Mexico at Soccer City in Johannesburg. The final is scheduled for July 11 at the same stadium.
South Africa and Angola do not share a border. Namibia sits north of South Africa on the Atlantic coast, and Angola is north of Namibia.
The Cabinda region is even further up the African coast.
South Africa midfielder Steven Pienaar, who is not playing at the Afcon because his team did not qualify, also said the attack on Togo will not have any impact on the World Cup.
"South Africa and Angola are two different worlds apart," said Pienaar, who plays for Premier League club Everton.
"This would not happen in South Africa." - Sapa-AP