SBD/June 19, 2014/Events and Attractions

Group Of Mostly Chilean Fans Breaks Into Maracanã In World Cup's First Security Breach

Chilean fans overwhelmed the gate at the Maracanã stadium in Rio de Janeiro
Dozens of soccer fans "broke into the Maracanã stadium" yesterday in Rio de Janeiro, marking the "first security breach" of the '14 FIFA World Cup, according to Jonathan Clegg of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The group of mostly Chile fans "rushed through a small security gate manned by only a handful of staff" outside the stadium media center, "crushing two temporary walls and damaging equipment." They "stormed through the media center, upending chairs and causing some minor damage before swarming into an outside corridor." They "forced down two temporary walls, damaging two TV sets and a bank of lockers before they were corralled by security." A group of about 30 fans "was later led away by local police, many of them covering their faces." It appeared that they "were ticketless fans trying to sneak into the game" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/19).

BRAZIL BUNGLES IT? The GLOBE & MAIL's Cathal Kelly writes the security breach "is proof that Brazil was not ready to host this tournament." That "failure will reverberate from now until the opening of the Rio Olympics in two years time." There are hundreds of "heavily armed riot police out in the streets outside the Maracanã, but very few inside the perimeter." That domain "was entirely left to private security." As a direct result of yesterday’s "fracas, that order has now been reversed -- police will patrol stadiums from here on in." Brazil has now "humiliatingly been put on notice that their preparations for this event are woefully sub-standard" (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/19). But in Miami, Michelle Kaufman writes while things are not perfect at the FIFA World Cup, they "never are at big events." The exterior areas and parking lots of the newly constructed stadiums "were incomplete," while some electrical wires "were exposed, and some walls remain unpainted." But in the "grand scheme of things, those problems seem minor." Still, it "remains to be seen whether Brazil can get through the next 25 days without any major trouble" (MIAMI HERALD, 6/19).

SCARY SCAFFOLDING
: In London, James Hider reports a temporary scaffolding stairway that "thousands of England fans will use to access" Arena Corinthians for today's match against Uruguay is "causing safety fears after a similar structure at Rio’s Maracanã was filmed wobbling dangerously during at a game on Sunday." Although no problems were "reported during last Thursday’s opening match at the site between Brazil and Croatia, disturbing footage from the Argentina-Bosnia match in Rio has triggered alarm that the Sao Paulo access point" to get into Arena Corinthians "may be just as shaky." Not all fans "will have to use the scaffold stairs, however, as there is a concrete walkway connecting the metro station to the stadium hill." But many of the 59,000 fans "expected for the game will be funnelled through it" (LONDON TIMES, 6/19).

FANS ARE FEELING IT
: FIFA yesterday announced that a record-breaking 430,000 fans on Tuesday descended on fan fest venues in all 12 host cities across Brazil, taking the total attendance to 1.3 million after the first round of games in the group stage (FIFA).
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