06/18/2014 02:28 EDT | Updated 08/18/2014 05:59 EDT

Chilean World Cup Fans Rage Their Way Into Rio Stadium, Get Trapped

Chilean fans are surrounded by security personnel after breaking into Maracana Stadium before the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

RIO DE JANEIRO - Nearly 100 rampaging Chilean fans broke through a security checkpoint at the Maracana stadium on Wednesday, rushing through a large media room and breaking down walls as they tried to force their way into the sold-out Spain vs. Chile match at the World Cup.

The red-shirted supporters, mostly young men, surged through the media centre underneath the stands, shouting and shoving their way past journalists and TV crews toward a corridor they apparently thought would lead to the grandstands.

To get to the corridor, the fans broke down a temporary wall in a corner of the room, sending metal lockers crashing to the ground, according to Associated Press journalists. They then rushed back down the corridor in the other direction, smashing other parts of the same wall down onto media work tables and television screens.

Security at the Maracana — where the World Cup final will be held July 13 — were slow to react to the mass break-in less than an hour before kickoff. They eventually contained the fans in a section of the corridor around 15 minutes after they first forced their way in.

The Rio de Janeiro state security secretariat, which oversees security forces, said in a statement that 85 fans were detained. FIFA said it was at least 85. Some were marched away in a line by security officials, their arms resting on the shoulders of the people in front of them.

An official with the Rio security secretariat said that the detained fans would spend the night in jail — and then likely be notified by Brazil's Federal Police, who enforce immigration laws, that they must leave the country within three days.

The official spoke on condition his name not be used, as he wasn't allowed to discuss the issue with the media.

Outside the stadium after the rampage, riot police armed with stun guns forced dozens of the detained fans to walk single-file toward a holding area. There, the Chile supporters chanted and loudly complained about scalpers charging $1,000 a ticket for the game. "I travelled thousands of kilometres to get here!" one fan yelled, while others chanted "FIFA is a mafia! FIFA is a mafia!"

Asked how many guards should have been watching the entry where the Chileans broke through, security guard Diego Goncalves said "about 20."

"I was the lone guy standing out there," near the entry to press centre, Goncalves said. "All of a sudden they knocked down the fence and just pushed their way through."

In a joint statement, FIFA and Brazil World Cup organizers said they "condemn these acts of violence."

"Ahead of the Spain versus Chile match at the Maracana a group of individuals without tickets violently forced entry into the stadium, breaking fences and overrunning security," FIFA and Brazil's organizing committee said. "They were contained by the security and did not make it to the seats."

But the fans came extremely close to racing down a corridor that leads onto the field. They apparently didn't know how close they were and surged back toward the media room, chased now by security staff in bright orange vests.

The guards eventually gained control of the situation, waving their hands frantically, restraining some supporters and ordering them to sit down in a large group before leading them away. Many fans covered their face with scarves showing Chile's logo as they were photographed and filmed by journalists.

After the fans broke in, security was beefed up, with long lines of heavily armed military police standing watch as thousands of fans lined up to get inside the 74,000-seat stadium. Chile later won 2-0 to eliminate defending champion Spain from the World Cup.

The Rio de Janeiro state security secretariat said that because of the "aggressive and orchestrated" behaviour of the Chile fans, FIFA asked police for help in controlling the situation and detaining the fans. An investigation is underway.


AP Sports Writer Gerald Imray and writer Bradley Brooks contributed to this report.

Also on HuffPost

  • Algeria
    Getty Images
    Nickname: Les Fennecs
    Meaning: It translates to "Desert Foxes," the national animal of Algeria, per the National Post.
  • Argentina
    Nickname: La Albiceleste
    Meaning: "The White and Blue Sky," a reference to the color scheme of the team's iconic jerseys, as well as the flag of Argentina.
  • Japan
    Getty Images
    Nickname: The Blue Samurai
    Meaning: A combination of the color of the jerseys and an acknowledgment of the nobility and honor of those pre-modern Japanese warriors, per ESPN FC.
  • Australia
    Getty Images
    Nickname: Socceroos
    Meaning: It's a portmanteau of “soccer” and “kangaroos,” made famous first by Aussie journalist Tony Horstead during the late-1960s, and then used as the nickname of the 1974 World Cup squad, per ESPN FC.
  • Belgium
    Getty Images
    Nickname: The Red Devils
    Meaning: The Belgian national soccer team always had red jerseys. But the "Devils" surname was earned in 1906 after Belgium's upset wins over France and the Netherlands, per Yahoo! News South Africa and ESPN FC.
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
    Getty Images
    Nickname: The Dragons
    Meaning: The country's national football team is referred to as "Zmajevi," which translates to "The Dragons." It was first used by Bosnian sports commentator Marjan Mijajlović in 2010, per ESPN FC. But Foreign commentators, however, often refer to them as the "Golden Lillies," due to a golden Fleur-de-lis that adorns both their uniforms and the country's coat of arms, according to Yahoo! News.
  • Brazil
    Getty Images
    Nickname: La Selecao
    Meaning: It's "The Selection," the collection of 23 players lucky enough to represent Brazil. The Brazilian squad has a secondary nickname "Carnarinho" which is a reference to its yellow uniforms, per the National Post.
  • Cameroon
    Getty Images
    Nickname: The Indomitable Lions
    Meaning: The nickname is a reference the country's large lion population as well as the team's desire to play with the toughness of a lion. According to ESPN FC, the nickname was first used in 1990 when Cameroon became the first African nation to reach the World Cup quarterfinals.
  • Chile
    Getty Images
    Nickname: La Roja
    Meaning: The nickname translates to "The Red," which refers to the predominant color of the team's uniforms which were first worn in the 1947 Copa America, per ESPN FC.
  • Colombia
    Getty Images
    Nickname: Los Cafeteros
    Meaning: The moniker translates to "The Coffee Growers" and is a reference to coffee beans, one of the country's chief exports, per Yahoo! News South Africa.
  • Costa Rica
    Costa Rica
    Getty Images
    Nickname: Los Ticos
    Meaning: It's a colloquial abbreviation of "Costarricenses," a term referring to a resident of Costa Rica
  • Croatia
    Getty Images
    Nickname: Vatreni
    Meaning: Vatreni means "The Blazers" or "The fiery ones," per Yahoo! News South Africa.
  • Ecuador
    Getty Images
    Nickname: La Tri
    Meaning: The nickname is an homage to Ecuador's three-colored flag.
  • England
    Getty Images
    Nickname: The Three Lions
    Meaning: The moniker comes from the English coat of arms, which itself dates back to the reign of King Richard the Lionhearted, per ESPN FC.
  • France
    Getty Images
    Nickname: Les Bleus
    Meaning: The French national soccer team is nicknamed "Les Bleus" (translates to "The Blues") for its blue uniforms.
  • Ghana
    Getty Images
    Nickname: The Black Stars
    Meaning: A Black Star adorns the center of the Ghanaian flag, via Dirty Tackle.
  • Germany
    Getty Images
    Nickname: Nationalmannschaft
    Meaning: It means "The National Team."
  • Greece
    Getty Images
    Nickname: Ethniki, To Piratiko
    Meaning: "Ethniki" translates to "National." But the team earned a new nickname in 2004 called "To Piratiko," which translates to "The Pirate Ship." It stems back to a 2004 EURO Cup match vs. Portugal. Before the match, a Greek commentator referenced a boat in the Portugese pregame ceremony and said Greece should "become pirates and steal the victory," per Dirty Tackle.
  • Honduras
    Getty Images
    Nickname: Los Catrachos
    Meaning: "Los Catrachos" is how Central Americans refer to Hondurans, per Dirty Tackle. The nickname honors General Florencio Xatruch, who helped defend the country against American, pro-slavery insurrectionists, according to ESPN FC.
  • Iran
    Getty Images
    Nickname: Team Melli
    Meaning: It means "The National Team," per ESPN FC.
  • Italy
    Getty Images
    Nickname: Azzurri
    Meaning: It's the plural form of "Azzurro," the Italian word for "blue."
  • Ivory Coast
    Ivory Coast
    Getty Images
    Nickname: The Elephants
    Meaning: The Ivory Coast has long been a center of the international ivory trade, which is reliant on elephant tusks.
  • Mexico
    Getty Images
    Nickname: El Tri
    Meaning: "El Tri" is a reference to the three-colored nature of the Mexican flag, per the National Post.
  • The Netherlands
    The Netherlands
    Getty Images
    Nickname: The Oranje ("The Orange")
    Meaning: Translated to "The Orange," the nickname refers to the country's national color and the colors on the team kits, per Dirty Tackle. According to ESPN FC, orange was the color of the Dutch Royal Family, the House of Oranje-Nassau.
  • Nigeria
    Getty Images
    Nickname: The Super Eagles
    Meaning: The eagle is the national animal of Nigeria, per the National Post. Nigeria's national soccer team was initially dubbed as the "Green Eagles" due to the color of the nation's flag. But "Super" replaced "Green" in 1988 when the team reached the Africa Cup of Nations finals, via ESPN FC.
  • Portugal
    Getty Images
    Nickname: Selecção das Quinas
    Meaning: "Team of the Five," namely, the five shields on the Portuguese flag, per the National Post.
  • Russia
    Getty Images
    Nickname: Sbornaya
    Meaning: The nickname means, "The National Team"
  • Spain
    Getty Images
    Nickname: La Furia Roja
    Meaning: The Spain squad earned its nickname, which translates to "The Red Fury," in the 1920s for its red jerseys and bruising style of play, per Dirty Tackle and ESPN FC. The nickname has stuck with the team despite the different style of play it has since adopted.
  • South Korea
    South Korea
    Getty Images
    Nickname: Taeguk Warriors
    Meaning: The taeguk is the yin & yang-like circle that adorns the South Korean flag, symbolizing balance, per Yahoo! News South Africa.
  • Switzerland
    Getty Images
    Nickname: La Nati
    Meaning: La Nati means "The National Team."
  • Uruguay
    Getty Images
    Nickname: La Celeste
    Meaning: La Celeste translates to "The Sky Blue," which is the distinctive color the team's uniforms, per Dirty Tackle.
  • USA
    Getty Images
    A true, longstanding nickname for the American squad has yet to be established, but terms like The Yanks and The Stars & Stripes have been bandied about in recent years.

America Votes
The latest polls, breaking news and analysis on the U.S. election from HuffPost’s Washington, D.C. bureau