BREAKING NEWS: Chaos for thousands of England and Argentina rugby fans as they rush to get into the Stade Velodrome in Marseille ahead of kick-off at the Rugby World Cup, facing crushes and long queues.
By Samuel Draper for Mailonline
20:00 09 Sep 2023, Updated 21:37 09 Sep 2023
Fans attending England’s Rugby World Cup match against Argentina in Marseille on Saturday faced long delays getting into the stadium.
MailSport reporter Chris Foy witnessed the situation. 40 minutes before kick-off at 9pm local time, the state saw a large crowd of fans around one of the main entrances to the velodrome.
The delays were attributed to the slow process of security checks and fans crowding around the gates as the match time approached. Many supporters are thought to have missed the start. With Foy writing: 'The teams come out and the stadium is 50-60% full. Shambles.’
An anonymous England fan told Mail Sport: 'I thought I was going to die’.
There were several pictures on social media of fans stuck outside the stadium in the build-up before the opening match between the two countries.
One user posted a picture showing the extent of the trouble, with thousands outside the gates an hour before the start of the match.
Videos obtained by Mailsport showed the slow entry process, which added to the struggle for fans, and showed fans climbing or vaulting over barriers in an attempt to gain entry. State Velodrome in Marseille.
In a solemn rant at X, one user wrote: 'F****** horrible @WorldRugby @EnglandRugby can’t even update because I can’t move my arms from my sides, you’re lucky no one gets hurt. Or die tonight.
’My worst experience at a sporting event. Huge queues are still waiting to get inside.
Another said: 'I’m queuing to enter the velodrome… what a bloody mess… only one entry. Traffic shock in metro, shame on us’
A third added: 'We got here at 19.45 but they didn’t open the doors until 8pm! It took us 40 minutes to get in and there were still 1000’s of people queuing on the street! Terrible organizational loads fail at startup’.
French authorities have previously come under fire for their handling of entry to the 2022 Champions League final, which saw thousands of Liverpool fans in Paris stand in long and dangerous queues outside the stadium because the entry system was overwhelmed.
The country is also gearing up to host the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics in Paris, which will also attract a significant number of sports fans.
„Całkowity introwertyk. Nieprzejednany specjalista od sieci. Przyjazny fanatyk bekonu. Student ekstremalnych. Miłośnik piwa. Organizator.”