World Cup hit by Maracana chaos

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Football News

The Maracana is the arguably the most iconic stadium in world, although perhaps Wembley could contest it for the title, but the home of Brazilian football has come under scrutiny just a week into the World Cup.

Initially there were safety concerns over a staircase used by fans on the way into the Maracana, with the makeshift structure clearly wobbling under the weight of thousands of supporters attending the weekend encounter between Argentina and Bosnia Herzegovina.

The next game at the esteemed ground was then hit by a security breach, as scores of ticketless Chile fans were able to break through the press area and into the stadium before the meeting with Spain, although they were eventually detained.

There had, of course, been serious concerns before the World Cup about various stadia being completed on time. And, although the organising committee were able to finish the job just in time, these two issues at the Maracana will be a concern for authorities.

The wobbly staircase

Paula Kossatz filmed fellow supporters scaling the makeshift stairs before Argentina’s encounter with Bosnia Herzegovina on Sunday night, and the scaffolding structure clearly rocked as thousands of fans poured towards the venue.

There have since been fears expressed that the staircase could collapse under the feet of supporters, while those there for the Argentina game claim they were frightened by the incident and not convinced of their safety.

Initially local organisers claimed reinforcements were a responsibility for for the local government, who then deferred it to the Rio state government. The latter has since inspected the stairs, reinforced and then inspected again. But doubts remain over the structure.

Chile fans stage break in

As many as 200 Chile supporters were able to force entry into the Maracana on Wednesday night in a desperate attempt to see their team in action against Spain. They were seen to break through a security checkpoint before tearing down a temporary wall that led to the stadium concourse.

Police were only able to detain around 30 fans, who were then seen to be frogmarched off the premises. Chile, meanwhile, triumphed 2-0 against the world champions to secure their passage into the last 16, while knocking Spain out in the process.

FIFA response

“Ahead of the Spain-Chile match at the Maracana, a group of individuals without tickets violently forced entry into the stadium, breaking fences and overrunning security.

"They were contained by the security and did not make it to the seats. The situation was brought under control quickly and at least 85 intruders were detained according the military police of Rio de Janeiro.

"The organisers of the FIFA World Cup condemn these acts of violence and we will communicate further information and measures to be taken in due course."

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