FANS’ ANGER OVER SECURITY QUEUES
WALES rugby fans have described the queues for the game against Australia in Cardiff on Saturday as an “utter shambles”.
Thousands missed kick-off because of long waits to get into the Principality Stadium.
Fans had been warned that every supporter would be searched and to allow plenty of time to enter the ground.
A warning was also issued stating that large bags and umbrellas would be confiscated. But supporters were left standing in the rain outside several gates as a result of the enhanced security checks because of the terror threat in the UK.
Now some fans have claimed they felt more at risk standing outside the stadium.
Rhian Diggins said: “No problem with security checks – they’re needed, but safety was an issue in queue at Gate One.
“Potential crush situation and no way emergency services could access if anyone taken ill. Needs to be addressed before next week.”
Gate One was an issue for many fans, with Cardiff South and Penarth MP Stephen Doughty labelling the situation an “utter shambles”.
Mr Doughty said: “Utter shambles at the Principality Stadium. Crowds crushing waiting to get into #WALAUS. Gate One – dangerous and unsafe. Never known so bad in 18 years.”
He said he had arrived early at the stadium but claimed people were “crushing each other” and that people were not properly searched at the end of the queue.
The MP said he will now be raising the issue with the stadium and the police. He said: “I was concerned by the volume of people who were being pressed against each other at Gate One. There were not enough stewards on duty, although some gates seemed to have no problem at all. I will be speaking to the stadium and police about the matter.”
Other fans were disgruntled to find that after queueing for up to 90 minutes they were not faced with any of the expected extra security measures.
Writing on Twitter, Matt Arthur said: “Over 20 minutes getting in at Gate Seven in the rain. All for the security guard to give a cursory scan with the metal detecting wand on the jacket, it was beeping for everyone but they didn’t investigate any further and let people in.”
The WRU said after the match: “For the Under Armour Series, we have doubled the pre-game opening hours to three hours to give fans the opportunity to avoid the queues and we have made every effort to communicate to supporters to plan to arrive early and leave large bags and large umbrellas at home.
“The safety and enjoyment of our visitors is of paramount importance.
“We continue to urge supporters to allow more time for getting in to the stadium in future, as these checks are vital to the safety of all attendees.”
The huge queue at the Principality Stadium, 15 minutes before the Wales v Australia kick-off on Saturday
Queuing fans on Saturday