BREAKING NEWS: CHAOS for thousands of England and Argentina rugby fans as they face crushes and long queues in a rush to get inside the Stade Velodrome in Marseille ahead of kick-off at Rugby World Cup
- Fans of England and Argentina rugby fans were being held in long queues
- There were concerns many may miss the start at the Stade Velodrome, Marseille
- Follow the action as England take on Argentina in their opening World Cup game
- Latest Rugby World Cup 2023 news, including fixtures, live scores and results
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 was on hand to witness the situation, which saw large numbers of fans around one of the main entrances to Stade Velodrome 40 minutes ahead of the start at 9pm local time.
The delays have been attributed to a slow process of security checks, as well as fans arriving close to the match time and swarming around the gates. It is thought that many supporters missed the start, with Foy writing: ‘Teams coming out and stadium is about 50-60% full. Shambles.’
One anonymous England fan told Mail Sport: ‘I thought I was going to die’.
Social media contained multiple images from fans who were stuck outside the stadium in the build-up before the start of the opening match for both countries.
Thousands of fans were stuck outside Stade Velodrome ahead of England versus Argentina
Clips obtained by MailSport showed fans vaulting stadium barriers, or ducking under poles
One user posted a picture which showed the scale of the problem, with thousands outside the entrance, despite one hour to go until the match got started.
Videos obtained by MailSport showed a slow entry process, which amplified the struggles for fans, and showed fans ducking or vaulting over barriers in a bid to gain entry to the Stade Velodrome in Marseille.
In an expletive rant on X, one user wrote: ‘F****** horrific @WorldRugby @EnglandRugby couldn’t even update as I couldn’t move my arms from my sides, you will be lucky if no one is injured or dies tonight.
‘Worst experience I’ve ever had at a sporting event. Huge queues still waiting to get in.’
Another said: ‘I am waiting at velodrome queuing to get in…what a bloody mess…one entry only. Transport in metro shocking, Should be ashamed of urselves’
A third added: ‘We got here at 19.45 but they didn’t open gates till 8pm! Took us 40 mins to get in and 1000s still queuing in street! Terrible organisation loads will miss out on start’.
French authorities previously came under fire for the handling of entry to the 2022 Champions League final, which saw thousands of Liverpool fans in Paris stuck in long and dangerous queues outside the stadium, as the entry system was overwhelmed.
The country are also preparing to host the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics in Paris as well, which will also attract significant numbers of sports fans.
Pictures showed the chaos outside the stadium in Marseille before the 9pm kick-off local time
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