Riot police were deployed in Qatar to ward off “hundreds” of seemingly ticketless Moroccan fans on Saturday.
The North African team faced Portugal in the quarter-finals of the World Cup at the Al Thumama stadium.
However, a large number of fans could still be seen outside the stadium shortly before kick-off, and many of them are said to be without tickets.
In a video posted on Twitter by journalist Angus Scott, masses of people can be seen in the perimeter of the stadium.
Scott described the police response as “a strong, common-sense approach by local ‘security cells’ to keep ticketless fans out”.
Another picture also shows how many people were looking to get in, even when kick-off was just minutes away.
A fan who was on the scene said: “I have never seen a scene like outside the Al Thumama stadium earlier.
“Half the fans don’t have tickets and there are massive crowds at the gates. Fans push and go around the barriers. It’s crazy.
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“They have now closed the security gates and are refusing to let fans in. This is madness.”
This was posted on Twitter at 2:56 p.m., just four minutes before the match started.
Adam Crafton of The Athletic also said many fans were still trying to make their way into the stadium 15 minutes into the game.
Match commentators noticed samples on the empty seats at Al Thumama Stadium after the start of the game.
However, midway through the first half, those seats began to fill up and the scene was described as a ‘sea of Moroccan flags’ as fans sang for their team and jeered every time the Portuguese players touched the ball.
Morocco took the lead minutes before half-time through Youssef En-Nesyri’s header, with Portugal hitting the crossbar through Bruno Fernandes moments later.
The winner will face England or France next week, and will therefore take a step closer to the final.
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