FANS’ ANGER OVER SE­CU­RITY QUEUES

South Wales Echo - - FRONT PAGE - WILL HAY­WARD Re­porter

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

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