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World Cup: FIFA is latest victim of South Africa crime wave

June 29, 2010 |  6:58 am

FIFA, the world governing body for soccer, is the victim of a South African crime wave that has targeted World Cup tourists, the English national team and foreign journalists.

South African police say seven World Cup replica trophies have been stolen from FIFA headquarters in Johannesburg.

Official FIFA clothing was also taken. Police were looking into the theft and suspected the people responsible were "very familiar with the environment in the FIFA offices."

FIFA's headquarters is in the high-class northern Johannesburg suburb of Sandton.

England's team, staying in a posh resort in Rustenburg, about 2-1/2 hours outside Johannesburg, had money, clothing and other things taken from hotel rooms. Police later recovered the items and have arrested those they believe are responsible.

In recent days a freelance photographer from the U.S. had his photo equipment, a laptop computer and other items taken as he rode in a FIFA shuttle between a Johannesburg stadium and a media hotel, while other journalists have reported hundreds of dollars worth of fraudulent charges being added to their hotel bills.

-- Kevin Baxter in Pretoria

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