Pitch invader caught at France's training session

JEROME PUGMIRE (AP Sports Writer)
The Associated PressJune 27, 2014
Pitch invader caught at France's training session
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A soccer fan hugs France's Eliaquim Mangala at the end of a training session at the Santa Cruz stadium in Ribeirao Preto, Brazil, Friday, June 27, 2014. France will face Nigeria on Monday in the round of 16 at the World Cup. (AP Photo/David Vincent)

RIBEIRAO PRETO, Brazil (AP) -- France's latest public training session at the World Cup came to an eventful end when a fan sprinted onto the field Friday, prompting an almost slapstick scene as two burly security guards bumped into each other trying to catch him.

The young fan dashed across the field and got between two security officials, who bounced off each other and fell to the ground amid raucous laughter from the crowd gathered at Botafogo's Santa Cruz stadium.

The security officials quickly got to their feet and chased the youth, who ran into the arms of France defender Eliaquim Mangala.

The boy was eventually caught by the two guards and a French security official before being handed over to police.

Two weeks ago, two youths ran onto the pitch toward the end of a French practice session. A police official said one of the youths claimed he wanted to kiss striker Karim Benzema's foot.

Benzema is very popular among fans at France's training camp in Ribeirao Preto, close to Sao Paulo.

About 60 French fans cheered their team on during Friday's training session, sometimes breaking into chants of ''Allez, les Bleus'' - one of their favorite team songs.

Former captain Patrice Evra and striker Olivier Giroud were among the players to autograph France jerseys and give them to the fans.

France travels to Brasilia on Saturday and faces Nigeria in the Round of 16 on Monday.