RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) - FIFA has acknowledged being embarrassed by a security lapse that let ticketless Chile fans rampage into the Maracana Stadium.
Fences have been breached by fans at both World Cup matches staged at the country s biggest and most prestigious stadium which hosts the final on July 13.
It is embarrassing, FIFA director of security Ralf Mutschke said Thursday, one day after dozens of ticketless Chile fans broke into the sold-out venue ahead of their team s 2-0 win against Spain.
Mutschke said security operations at the World Cup must improve in order that this will not happen again.
Brazilian authorities said 87 people were detained after smashing their way through a perimeter wire fence into the stadium media center.
Fans stampeded through the media working area, knocking down partition walls while trying to gain access to the pitch area. They were detained by some of the 1,000-plus private security officers on match duty, and will be deported.
We have to protect the media, there s no doubt about it - we also have to protect the (other) fans, Mutschke said at a news briefing to address the incident.
Chile s consul general in Rio, Samuel Ossa, told reporters early Thursday that those who invaded the stadium were carried away by their passion of wanting to get in to see the team, didn t have tickets and made a mistake.
They are not criminals, there was too much passion to see the team, Ossa said.
Four days earlier, at least 10 Argentina fans were detained after jumping fences to try to see their team play last Sunday in another sold-out match against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
FIFA and the local organizing committee plan to announce improved security measures Friday.
Operational procedures are being reassessed and definitely you will see a difference in the next event, Hilario Medeiros, security manager for Brazilian organizers, said through a translator.
The Maracana hosts Belgium vs. Russia on Sunday, the third of seven matches there.
Security issues have been an issue at other World Cup venues, with stadium staff failing to arrive for work in Brasilia last Sunday and on Tuesday in Fortaleza, where Brazil played Mexico.
Medeiros said the Maracana was fully staffed Wednesday with 1,037 security workers.
We knew that this was a high risk operation, Medeiros said.
Mutschke said other aspects of the security plan worked well at the airport-style security checks.
There was a lot of butterfly knives seized by mag and bag. There was tables full of pyrotechnics and firecrackers, Mutschke said. The stewards did a good job despite the incident.