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Dirty Tackle

FIFA is being overly cautious at Maracana Stadium after Chile melee

Graham Watson
Dirty Tackle
FIFA security head: Maracana lapse 'embarrassing'
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Chile fans run through the press center prior to the group B World Cup soccer match between Spain and Chile at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, June 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Akmal Rajput)

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RIO DE JANEIRO — FIFA director of security Ralf Mutschke said he was embarrassed by the breach by 90 Chilean fans, who stormed the media center at Maracana Statdium looking for access to the field, and vowed tighter security.

On Sunday, patrons and media visiting Maracana found out exactly what that meant.

Armed forces clad in riot gear lined the streets leading to Maracana and in some cases blocked unticketed or credentialed patrons from passing through. The media center, which was clearly the weakest entry point at the stadium, had armed security forces in front of its entry tents and then 20 more guards with batons inside it.

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A police convoy rolls past the front of Maracana Stadium before Russia-Belgium. (Yahoo Sports)

A police convoy rolls past the front of Maracana Stadium before Russia-Belgium. (Yahoo Sports)

The walkway that leads to media seating is cordoned off with a bike rack and has several guards specifically there to stop media and patrons from intermingling.

If it sounds like it’s a lot, it is.

A one point a military caravan, with several armed and camouflage-wearing military personnel inside it, rolled through the main street in front of Maracana where Belgium fans had gathered. There appeared to be no real reason for it except to let fans know it was there.

Very little in the way of rowdy behavior was expected for Sunday’s match between Russia and Belgium. Unlike the South American crowds that were prevalent during the first two games at Maracana, the crowds seem to be a bit tamer and definitely smaller.

Still, FIFA, which has been under heavy scrutiny for a variety of things since the tournament began, is taking no more chances that the premier stadium of the 2014 World Cup is disgraced again.

Graham Watson is the editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email her at dr.saturday@ymail.com or follow her on Twitter

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Police stand at the media entrance where Chile fans overcame security on Wednesday. (Yahoo Sports)

Police stand at the media entrance where Chile fans overcame security on Wednesday. (Yahoo Sports)


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