Just as Holland earned a hard-fought win against Australia and the world media was getting ready to go the tribune for the Spain-Chile game, a horde of people in Chile shirts invaded the media area at the Maracana stadium here. It led to utter chaos in the massive, temporary setup.
The array of lockers fell in the melee and they ran helter-skelter clearly realising that this wasn’t where they were meant to be. In the sudden mad rush, the temporary floorboards of the media centre shook and as the stewards rushed in, two sets of lockers crashed on to the tables taking down with them the flatscreen TV sets where Robin van Persie was still giving his version of the match that sealed a pre-quarter final berth for Holland.
As the stewards made them sit down and the Fifa suits rushed in talking on their wireless sets, one of those who had entered showed the middle finger to photographers and reporters who tried to make sense of what was happening.
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Marcelo Durante from Ikeke in Chile was one of them. Showing a massive red bruise on his right arm, he said there was a sudden rush at the entrance and they all went in thinking this was the way to the stadium. Durante, in a red Chile team shirt, spoke no English but what he told one group of journalists was translated from Spanish by another reporter.
Even as the Spain-Chile match began, the supporters were seen seated in an alley behind the media centre being minded by stewards. That area of the media centre lay in tatters and as shutterbugs jostled for a picture, the temporary walls shook and the working area tables creaked under their weight. For most journalists, this was the first sign of trouble at what has so far been a smooth World Cup.
Asked how this happened, Fifa official smiled and simply said: "I can;t comment before walking away." The volunteers had cordoned off the area at the media enclosure behind which the Chile fans were made to sit on the ground.
None of them had tickets and seeing that security was lax at the media centre entrance, the rushed in. They perhaps knew, said a Chilean reporter who spoke English, that there is an entrance to the terraces behind the temporary walls of the media centre. they rushed towards that side and seeing it was locked moved in the other direction. That was when they were intercepted.