Rugby World Cup: World Rugby apologises for Marseille stadium chaos at England v Argentina clash

Rugby World Cup organisers have been forced to apologise after tens of thousands of fans missed kick off in Argentina’s clash with England at Marseille.

Chaotic scenes at Stade de Marseille saw fans left stuck outside the stadium in long queues, due to a limited number of entrances and security shortages that held up bag checks.

France 2023 organsiers confirm they will take steps to improve access to the stadium.

England huddle after their win over Argentina at Marseille.
England huddle after their win over Argentina at Marseille. Photo credit: Getty Images

"Fans are the heartbeat of the tournament and we would like to apologise to fans impacted by yesterday’s access challenges," they said. "We are working hard to enhance the experience for all visiting Marseille for Rugby World Cup 2023."

To ensure that happens, more volunteers will be deployed to the stadium to reduce the waiting time to get in and ensure ticketholders are directed to the right entrance.

Public transport announcements will be made in English, as well as French, to ensure fans are able to catch the appropriate Metro line at the right time and arrive at the stadium in plenty of time.

Organisers didn't have much time to get it right, with the next clash at Stade de Marseille Monday morning's game between the Springboks and Scotland. 

The venue will also host France’s Pool A clash with Namibia, the Springboks clash with Tonga and two of the quarter finals.

The statement on the shortcomings at Marseille failed to reference similar blunders at Bordeaux for Ireland’s clash with Romania, in which public transport issues meant fans there also missed kickoff and were required to queue in the searing heat outside the stadium.

It's an embarrassing start to the tournament for French authorities and one they'll be desperate to tidy up.

While the chaos was without incident and all fans eventually made it inside, it's far from an ideal start to a tournament that's certainly living up to expectations on the field, yet being let down off it.  

Join Newshub at 7am Saturday for live updates of the All Blacks v Namibia Rugby World Cup pool clash