World Cup - Wall collapses in press area as ticketless fans invade Maracana

There was chaos at the Maracana as several hundred ticketless Chile fans invaded the stadium, pushing over a partition wall on one side of the media centre.

Eurosport
World Cup - Brazil to increase security at Maracana after breach
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A wall collapses in the press centre at the Maracana after Chile fans invade the stadium (Reda Maher, Eurosport)

Around 45 minutes before kick-off with their World Cup match against Spain, around 300 supporters of the Latin American country – who have taken over Rio de Janeiro for the game – rushed security to try and force their way into the ground.

Around 100 made it in and proceeded to try and enter the seating areas.

They could be heard singing and chanting, which surprised the journalists who ordinarily cannot hear supporters from their desks.

It seemed the fans had been penned in behind the media centre and, when one partition wall started shaking under the pressure, journalists – myself included – ducked for cover under tables.

The wall collapsed on to tables and equipment, and was quickly followed by another. One woman was almost trapped but managed to escape just in time. At the time, I genuinely feared a football disaster and it was a massive relief to everyone when the situation was brought under control.

Fortunately the walls in media zone were plaster, as had they been real walls there could have been serious injuries.

There were reports that one woman - a Chile fan - was injured and taken to hospital, and that around 30 supporters were arrested but nobody appeared to be seriously hurt.

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The match kicked off at 4pm local (8pm UK time).

Once stadium security and police calmed the situation, fans moved back and were escorted from the stadium.

REDA MAHER'S WORLD CUP BLOG

The incident raises questions about security and crowd control at this World Cup in Brazil, particularly at the Maracana, which was also heavily congested for Argentina's win over Bosnia.

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