January 16, 2018
Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Argentine fans swamp Pt Alegre for Nigeria match

Argentine fans set up camp as they begin to arrive in Porto Alegre.
Argentine fans set up camp as they begin to arrive in Porto Alegre.
Argentine fans set up camp as they begin to arrive in Porto Alegre.
Porto Alegre was awash in a sea of sky-blue and white today as tens of thousands of Argentina fans flooded the southern Brazilian city for their team's concluding World Cup Group F match against Nigeria.

Police have called in reinforcements to increase security and guard against any possible crowd problems, although, the early morning mood was friendly and festive.

Authorities estimate more than 100,000 fans have crossed the border between Argentina and Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul state but only about 18,000 of them had tickets, meaning many were hunting for resales.

Hotels have been packed and many have camped by roadsides, slept in cars and camper vans, or just stayed up all night partying. Restaurants and bars were full of singing, chanting fans on Monday night.

Many of the fans wore Argentina's distinctive sky-blue and white striped soccer shirt. One banner showed Pope Frances - an Argentine - alongside star striker Lionel Messi and playing legend Diego Maradona.

"We slept in the car," said Hugo Audalan, a 32-year-old office worker, who had made an 800 km journey from Santiago del Estero with his friend Sebastian Gonzalez. "We have no tickets. We are looking for resales."

"We are here because of what football means to our country. It is our passion," said Gonzalez, 34, who works in public relations.
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Tags:  Argentina  Porto Alegre  World Cup  soccer  match  Nigeria  fans  

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