Everton and South Africa midfielder Steven Pienaar has played down reports regarding the crime rate in his homeland ahead of next summer's World Cup finals, insisting that gunfire at night is a normal occurrence similar to the use of fireworks.
The 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa passed off without major incident earlier this summer as Brazil lifted the trophy beating USA in the final, with the only serious talking point centring around the use of the vuvuzela - a noisy triumpet blown incessantly from the stands.
And Pienaar, who has 43 caps for his country, is confident that the 2010 showpiece will be an overwhelming success, insisting that fans who take care will not encounter any problems, with a heavy police presence during the tournament out to keep disturbances down to a minimum.
"They ask me about the crime and I keep on telling them it is like anywhere in the world, that if you don't look out for yourself there can be problems," he said in The Sunday Telegraph.
"It's a beautiful country. And there will be a great atmosphere during the World Cup.
"Will there be incidents? Definitely.
"When you have a few drunk supporters walking around, there could be problems. For all the organisation and the goodwill of the people of South Africa you can't stop it happening. "For the tourists [hearing gunfire at night] they just have to know it's normal, like hearing firecrackers. But there will be a lot of police on the streets so it will be calmer and the security will be tight."comments