the organization of a match at the Marseille Vélodrome strongly criticized

Once again, the organization of a major sporting event in France is being singled out. A Rugby World Cup match experienced great difficulty in getting set up on the evening of Saturday September 9, in Marseille. This comes a year after the landmark Champions League final fiasco between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France (Saint-Denis), where thousands of ticketed British and Spanish fans were unable to enter. the enclosure, some having been put in danger and attacked. Saturday, on the sidelines of England’s victory over Argentina (27-10)many fans of both teams waited a long time before gaining their place in the Vélodrome stadium in Marseille, and missed a large part of the first half of the match.

When the two teams entered the field, shortly before 9 p.m., the stands of the enclosure were still largely sparse. The special envoy of World present that evening at the Vélodrome noted that a large number of supporters were gathered in front of the stadium. Unlike the final of the 2022 Champions League, the kick-off was not delayed and the stadium was really full around the 30e minute. According to Agence France Presse (AFP), “safety and pat-down procedures” have been “clearly reduced” to try to make filling the Vélodrome more fluid.

On social networks, many British supporters and journalists were outraged by the situation. “The organization of the entire night was disgusting, the crowd situation is dangerous”explained an Internet user on X (formerly Twitter) in response to a journalist from Times. “We arrived at 7:45 p.m. but they didn’t open the doors until 8 p.m. [le match débutant à 21 heures] ! It took us 40 minutes to get in and thousands of people were still queuing on the street”noted another supporter on the same social network.

Worrying one year before the Olympic Games

According to the Daily Mailthe difficulties in entering the stadium caused several “shustling scenes” in queues. Videos published by the British media show supporters stepping over the security gates of the Vélodrome without ping their tickets to enter the sports venue as quickly as possible. THE Guardian evokes a situation of ” chaos “ during the pre-match, confident that ” some [supporteurs] were forced to queue for over an hour before being able to take their seats. »

According to the special envoy of Worldmany English fans arrived late at the gates. “The supporters showed up in large numbers quite late and mainly at only one of the two planned entrances” explained a “source close to the organization”cited by AFP.

For its part, World Rugby reacted in the evening. “Even though fans were able to win their seats, their level of satisfaction is paramount to us, and we are working with all parties to understand what happened and take steps to avoid further delays at future events. matches of the 2023 Rugby World Cup organized in this stadium »explained the international federation in a press release.

Less than a year before the Paris Olympic Games (July 26 to August 11, 2024), the organization of the next Rugby World Cup matches is a sensitive subject, closely scrutinized. Starting with that of the South Africa – Scotland meeting, also taking place at the Marseille Vélodrome, this Sunday September 10 at 5:45 p.m.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers The XV of France beat the All Blacks thanks to its “finishers”

Valentin Moinard

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