Madonna gig: Safety assurance from Sports Hub


SINGAPORE - Amid reports that pop star Madonna has increased security for her Rebel Heart concert tour after her ex-husband Sean Penn was blamed for a Mexican drug lord's arrest, the venue operator for her Singapore concert has stressed that the safety of the public is a priority.

When asked if security has been beefed up for Madonna's Feb 28 concert here, the Singapore Sports Hub told My Paper yesterday that it "works closely with event organisers and the authorities to prioritise the safety and well-being of all patrons".

Sports Hub did not directly refer to Madonna's concert.

"During event days, including concerts, we also provide an additional layer of security by having a skilled, dedicated security team across the entire precinct to manage all issues varying in scale and complexity," said Eugene Lee, director of marketing and communications at the Singapore Sports Hub.

However, it was unclear whether Madonna's management had indeed requested heightened security for the Singapore leg of her tour.

Still, Mr Lee said the Sports Hub has a security nerve centre fitted with specialist monitoring software that provides surveillance.

The centre is also manned around the clock by a trained team of security personnel.

Requesting patrons to also report any suspicious activities to the Sports Hub security team or staff, Mr Lee added: "We also seek the public's understanding and co-operation if there are any additional layers of checks at all our venues, in the interest of safety and security."

Hong Kong's Apple Daily reported on Wednesday that Madonna's management had submitted a request to the Taiwan organisers to provide 12 security staff on top of her 205 staff, including security personnel.

However, organisers for the Hong Kong leg of her tour told Apple Daily that Madonna has "always had adequate security" and that they had yet to receive any additional requests.

Mexican drug lord Joaquin Guzman, or El Chapo, was captured on Jan 8, after Penn had scored an interview with the kingpin.

The 55-year-old actor later said he believed officials were trying to credit him with El Chapo's capture to put him in the crosshairs of the feared Sinaloa drug cartel.

Law enforcement consultant John Carman told RadarOnline that El Chapo's associates "are going to want payback for his arrest" and "blame Sean and Madonna for bringing down the 'most dangerous man in the world' - and that will mark them both for death".

At the Miami leg of her tour over the weekend, the 57-year-old called her ex-husbands Penn and Guy Ritchie "a**holes", the Daily Mail reported on Monday.

This was despite rumours that she had earlier rekindled her romance with Penn.

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