Chile Fans Storm World Cup Stadium to See Sold-Out Match

Security personnel attempt to control Chilean fans breaking through a gate outside the stadium prior to the kickoff of the match between Spain and Chile on June 18.

RIO DE JANEIRO — It was a scary moment outside Maracanã Stadium about an hour ahead of the Spain-Chile match on Wednesday after a mob of around 100 fans wearing Chilean soccer jerseys overran World Cup security officials and broke through an entrance to storm the park.
FIFA officials said the fans, who did not have tickets, forced their way into the stadium to see the sold-out match. Most of the World Cup fans ran into the media center — it was the closest door to the stadium entrance through which they broke — because they apparently thought it would lead them into the grandstands.
That led to a chaotic scene of broken glass and a destroyed temporary wall in the media center.

It took at least 15 minutes for security officials to get everything under control. Stadium security guards tried to create a perimeter and eventually detained at least 85 people, FIFA officials said. Once the detainees were outside, riot police armed with stun guns forced them into a single-file line and into a holding area.

Meanwhile, the detainees covered their faces in an effort to shield themselves from reporters who were taking photos and video.

Both FIFA and Brazilian World Cup officials released a joint statement late Wednesday afternoon, saying they "condemn these acts of violence." Meanwhile, World Cup organizers increased security around the stadium.

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