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Private jet logjam delays 700 fans at semifinal
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 09 - 07 - 2010

Airports Company South Africa Thursday blamed VIP private jets for congestion at Durban's airport that delayed 700 fans for the last World Cup semifinal.
On Wednesday evening, five commercial flights carrying fans to the Germany-Spain match had to turn back to Johannesburg and Cape Town, due to landing space problems at the airport.
“The congestion problem was caused by some private airplanes (which) refused (to) move ... after landing, therefore blocking landing space for other planes,” airports chief Monhla Hlahla told 702 radio.
“Priority had to be given to VIPs who were caught up in the situation,” she said, adding that FIFA planes were allowed to land before commercial flights.
“We had too many flights wanting to land and at some point we had to instruct them to turn back,” she said.
She said the experience would be used to prevent similar delays in Johannesburg for the final Sunday. The new King Shaka airport opened on May 1, and was meant to cope with higher passenger volumes.
Budget airline Mango said one of its flights was delayed for three hours, with enraged fans missing the first half of the match.
They were given a special bus to take them directly to the stadium.
FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot has, meanwhile, said the football body will definitely look at the cases of fans affected by flight problems. Even when some planes landed, they had to take off again and head to the old Durban International Airport.
Attendance at Moses Mabhida Stadium was 1,800 below capacity for Spain's 1-0 victory.
Cameroon coach job
Cameroon has begun the search for a new coach to replace Frenchman Paul Le Guen who stepped down after its worst ever World Cup performance in South Africa, senior federation (FECAFOOT) officials told state radio.
Although no official contact has yet been made, FECAFOOT President Iya Mohammed said Germany's most-capped player Lothar Matthaeus and former Ivory Coast coach, Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic, were among the leading contenders. “I've never met Lothar Matthaeus but his candidature has been forwarded to us as well as that of former Ivory Coast coach Vahid Halilhodzic and some 10 others,” he said.
The 49-year-old Matthaeus, who has 150 caps and was World Player of the Year in 1990, has coached several clubs in Europe and one in Brazil as well as Hungary's national team and managed Israeli club Maccabi Netanya until the end of last season.
Halilhodzic, 57, played for Yugoslavia and has coached several clubs after starting out at Raja Casablanca including Paris St. Germain. He was sacked as Ivory Coast coach in February.


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