BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Thousands of fans missed the early stages of the World Cup match between Switzerland and Ecuador in Brasilia on Sunday because they arrived too close to kickoff and due to problems experienced by staff at the security check, organizers said.
Ticket-holding fans fumed as the game in the Brazilian capital started while they were still outside the Estadio Nacional. The stadium still had lots of seats empty when Ecuador scored in the 22nd minute to take a 1-0 lead.
"The lines in Brasília resulted from a combination of two factors," the tournament's local organizing committee said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "Challenges related to part of the staff responsible for the X-rays detectors together with the arrival of the public too close to kickoff — until one hour before the match, only 20 percent of the public had already entered the stadium."
Before the World Cup started last week, FIFA officials repeatedly encouraged fans to arrive early so they could clear stadium security and make it to their seats by game time.
On Sunday, some fans still appeared to be filing in to the stadium toward the end of the first half.
"We will ... work to improve the operation at the security check," organizers said.
Switzerland won the game 2-1, with Haris Seferovic scoring the winner deep in stoppage time.