Hundreds of England and Argentina supporters missed the kickoff of their Rugby World Cup match in Marseille on Saturday after being delayed at the entrances to the stadium, AFP journalists saw.
Ten minutes before the 9:00pm (1900 GMT) kickoff, there was still a long queue at one of the two entry points to the Stade Velodrome in the southern French port, with more than one thousand supporters waiting to enter.
As kickoff approached, security staff reduced their checks to allow the queue to accelerate.
At the kickoff, many supporters were still trying to find their seats in the stadium.
A source close to the organisers said the problem had arisen because a large number of supporters arrived shortly before the match at one of the two designated entrances.
In order to speed up the spectators' passage into the stadium, an alleyway that is normally closed was opened, the source said. The longest delay was around 20 minutes.
With France hosting the Olympics next year, the French organisers of the Rugby World Cup are under scrutiny to avoid any repetition of the chaotic scenes that preceded last year's Champions League football final between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France outside Paris.
The kick-off for that match was delayed by 37 minutes as fans struggled to get into France's national stadium after police funnelled them into overcrowded bottlenecks.
Police then fired tear gas towards thousands of mainly Liverpool supporters locked behind metal fences on the perimeter to the stadium.