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Fifa plays down Maracana security breach

Fifa plays down Maracana security breach

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A number of ticketless fans scaled an outer wall of the stadium while many others broke through a security gate, with stewards apparently powerless to stop them

By Liam Twomey at Estadio Maracana

The security breach which saw around 30 ticketless fans break into Rio de Janeiro's Estadio Maracana in an attempt to watch Argentina's clash with Bosnia-Herzegovina on Sunday was a minor and isolated incident, according to Fifa and Brazil 2014's local organising committee.

During the incident, which was caught on a video subsequently posted on Youtube, a number of fans scaled an outer wall of the stadium while many more burst through a security gate, with stewards seemingly unable to stop them.

Police later made nine arrests in relation to the break-in, and Saint-Clair Milesi, the head of communications for the Brazil 2014 organising committee, insisted on Monday that all the people involved were apprehended by stewards and handed over to state authorities.

"Those who jumped the wall were led to the police and the Plan B worked well," Milesi told reporters during a Fifa press briefing at the Maracana.

"They [the supporters] have a police record and that sends a message to those who are here to make trouble.

"We had a meeting yesterday to reinforce security at the stadiums. It’s very important to us. We had a great festival [at the Maracana] last night because everyone felt safe here."

Argentina's 2-1 victory over Bosnia attracted 74,738 people to the Maracana, the largest attendance of the World Cup so far. The number of ticketless supporters arriving at stadiums is becoming a problem, though, with Fifa revealing that they are turning away on average between 20 and 30 supporters with fake tickets each game. 

Further afield, some 200 more Brazilians took part in a protest which resulted in violent clashes with police around 1.5km from the stadium itself, and resulted in tear gas and stun grenades being employed to disperse the crowd.

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