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UK journo held over 'plot'

2010-06-29 11:41
Pretoria - Police believe a British man wandered into England's dressing room was part of a plot with a journalist to paint World Cup security in a bad light.

Addressing the media in Pretoria on Tuesday, national police commissioner General Bheki Cele said British journalist Simon Wright, of the Sunday Mirror, was arrested on Monday night.

It was found that he harboured British fan Pavlos Joseph and interviewed him after he wandered into the team's dressing room claiming to be looking for a toilet.

Joseph was arrested two days after the incident at Cape Town Stadium on June 18.


"The police have reason to believe that this incident was orchestrated and involved the co-operation of a number of individuals," said Cele.

Video footage obtained during an initial investigation backed the theory.

"The police strongly believe the motive was to put the World Cup security in a bad light and possibly to profit from the act," he said.

Wright has been charged with defeating the ends of justice and flouting provisions of the Immigration Act.

The second charge relates to Wright booking a luxury hotel for Joseph using false or incorrect particulars.

Joseph has twice appeared in World Cup courts for contravening the FIFA World Cup SA Special Measures Act.

Out on bail

He was granted bail of R500, his passport was confiscated by the police and he was banned from attending any more soccer matches.

He was due to appear in court again on Tuesday.

After the incident, the Sunday Mirror reported that when Joseph saw former England captain David Beckham in the change rooms, he said he needed the toilet, then added: "David, we've spent a lot of money getting here. This is a disgrace. What are you going to do about it'?"

England had drawn 0-0 with Algeria.

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