Al-Qaeda threat 'a bluff'
Cape Town - An alleged al-Qaeda plot against the soccer World Cup was "a bluff", FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said on Wednesday.
Speaking in Cape Town, he said Interpol had investigated following the arrest in Iraq of a Saudi army officer for involvement in an alleged plot targeting the cup.
"There was an investigation launched by Interpol and some other international police agencies.
"I got yesterday the report saying it was just a bluff and there was nothing concrete behind this threat.
Al-Qaeda denies involvement in plot
"The statement by al-Qaeda this morning just confirms what we have been working on since now weeks and months: any time a threat was coming, we check, and it's not very strong."
On Tuesday, in a statement published on Islamist websites, al-Qaeda denied involvement in the alleged plot.
"We deny this news altogether," the statement said.
Valcke said he believed "all these threats" were made by people who were merely trying to "get some spotlight on them because the world is watching South Africa for the next 40 days".
He said the World Cup was the greatest sporting event in the world.
"And when sport is played, you should just stop the world for a time.
"And that's what's happening. Most of the time during the World Cup there is no conflict, or there is less conflict, because people are watching TV.
"A lot of them are watching TV, including soldiers.
"It's the wrong place to have threats. It's the wrong place to prepare any attack."