Scores of supporters were caught in a crush at the entrance, with many missing up to 20 minutes of the match. The 2023 tournament organising committee have admitted to mistakes with stewarding and pledged to resolve the issues without delay.
“Fans are the heartbeat of the tournament and we would like to apologise to fans impacted by yesterday’s access challenges,” read a Rugby World Cup 2023 statement.
“We are working hard to enhance the experience for all visiting Marseille for Rugby World Cup 2023.”
Fans of both England and Argentina were caught in a heavy crush in the build-up to Saturday’s World Cup clash, that the Red Rose won 27-10.
By the time the bottleneck had been resolved, the first quarter of the match was already complete. Organisers opted not to hold back the kick-off, at which point even a 15-minute delay would have cleared the problem.
Extra stewards will now be used to try to avoid any similar issues moving forward.
This is the view from the queue to get in. The anthems are being played. This is shambolic. Lots of fans will miss kick-off https://t.co/yu3bbYBXCc
— Nick Purewal (@NickPurewal) September 9, 2023
The statement added: “The France 2023 Organising Committee can confirm that it is taking steps to improve access to Stade de Marseille following delays ahead of the Rugby World Cup 2023 Pool D match between England and Argentina, which resulted in a number of fans taking their seats after kick-off.
“While all 63,118 ticket holders were able to take their seats and there were no reported incidents, fan experience is paramount to everyone involved in the staging of the tournament.
“France 2023 are deploying more service volunteers to welcome fans to the Stade de Marseille and direct ticket holders to the appropriate entry points.”