Snedden urges fans to behave
November 12, 2010
World Cup organiser Martin Snedden has called on fans to behave during next year's showpiece in New Zealand © Getty Images
World Cup organisers have warned that New Zealand faces an international backlash should the ugly fan behaviour that marred a recent Four Nations rugby league clash between Australia and the Kiwis be repeated at next year's showpiece event.
The Australian national anthem was booed and players were showered with plastic bottles during last weekend's high-profile match at Eden Park - a ground that will stage nine matches at the 2011 World Cup, including the final.
"Public confidence in the venue has been dented for the moment," Rugby New Zealand 2011 chief executive Martin Snedden said. "It is something that we must take serious notice of and learn from. If repeated during the RWC they would cause immense damage to our hosting of the event and to New Zealand's reputation.
"Not many of our thousands of international visitors will care much about the All Blacks' fortunes. All they will care about is how they are treated by us while here as our guests. We must collectively make sure that the hosting experience we deliver is something special."
Last weekend's match was seen as the first test of revamped facilities at the stadium, although only a crowd of 44,324 were present for the meeting of the Kangaroos and the Kiwis - almost 20,000 short of its World Cup capacity.
"Running something as major as next year's event is just as much a confidence game as it is about getting things dead right operationally," Snedden said. "And we must do what we can to enable people to be confident that something similar won't happen again next year. In the end, it's all about finding the right balance.
"The priority for all of us involved in making this event a success will be to ensure that the vast majority of people who go to a RWC match to enjoy the experience actually get a chance to do so."
Snedden has also revealed that organisers are formulating a plan that will outline the sale and consumption of alcohol at stadiums. Although details are yet to be confirmed, it is thought that there will be a limit of cans sold per person and that each Stadium will also have to apply for a specific liquor licence.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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