Chile fans broke through a barrier, stormed the press room at Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro and wreaked havoc ahead of the national team's World Cup match with the reigning champions from Spain.
Sam Laird of Mashable provided a look at the scene as a group of Chile supporters ran past a very limited security force:
Ed Malyon of the Daily Mirror noted once the group was able to get into the building, the fans began to destroy the press room, including knocking down a wall:
Chilean fans have invaded and are trashing the place. Walls, TVs going over. An astonishing amount of people keen to film it— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) June 18, 2014
The Agence France-Presse stated they then started a sit-in protest once the destruction ended:
Tom Williams of the AFP provided a reason for the incident, citing a security official:
Security official tells AFP Chile fans had no tickets and wanted to watch game. 24 people detained by police, mainly young men.— Tom Williams (@tomwfootball) June 18, 2014
Miguel Delaney of ESPN reports fans without tickets started gathering outside the stadium hours before kick-off and caused the problems:
It wasn't a protest. It was fans without tickets, who were already gathering outside gates five hours before kick-off.— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) June 18, 2014
Laird posted another Vine of the area once things were contained by security:
Scene in Maracana media center after/during a bit of chaos. https://t.co/pc0pvG8wa3— Sam Laird (@samcmlaird) June 18, 2014
FIFA later released a statement on the Chile fans:
STATEMENT: Ahead of the ESP-CHI match at the Maracanã, a group of individuals without tickets violently forced entry into the stadium. (1/4)— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) June 18, 2014
They broke fences & overran security before being contained by security. They did not make it to the seats. (2/4)— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) June 18, 2014
The situation was brought under control quickly & at least 85 intruders were detained by the military police of Rio. (3/4)— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) June 18, 2014
The organisers of the #WorldCup condemn these acts of violence. We’ll communicate further info & measures to be taken in due course. (4/4)— FIFA Media (@fifamedia) June 18, 2014
Wyre Davies of the BBC added an update later in the evening:
The incident didn't cause any delay to the preparation for either side. Both national teams went through their pre-match routines and the action kicked off as scheduled at 3 p.m. ET. There were definitely a few scary moments for those in the press room, however.
Thankfully there are no immediate reports of injuries as a result of the actions. No word has yet been provided on the overall extent of the damage, either.
Above all else, the incident brings into question the security standards in and around the stadiums. As the initial video shows, there was simply no chance for those in the area to guard against the sheer number of fans rushing the stadium.
It's something the tournament organizers will need to discuss because the intensity and volume of the fans is only going to increase as the event goes on. Not to mention this situation happened at the same stadium where the final is scheduled to take place next month.
While it appears disaster was averted this time, changes are necessary to make sure similar scenes don't emerge in the days and weeks ahead.