SPANISH and Moroccan fans were caught up in crowd carnage as they were trapped in a crush outside their World Cup game.
Riot cops were deployed as fans were pushed trapped against a chain link fence before the round of 16 kick off at the Education City Stadium.
Harrowing video shows fans of both teams stuck on a narrow pathway between two fences.
Riot cops and security guards are seen at the end blocking their way and shoving the supporters back.
Other footage shows a huge crowd as cops in helmets clash with the fans.
Security officials reportedly blamed the crush on fans attempting to enter the stadium without tickets.
Men, women and children could all be seen stuck in the crowd pressed against the fence in footage shared from the scene.
Police lined up with riot shields as they corralled the fans waiting near the stadium.
Moroccan fans are some of the most numerous of any team left at the world cup.
Many of them live and work in Qatar and are hoping to see their team advance to its first quarter-final.
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Ahead of kickoff on Tuesday, security appeared tighter than at other games.
Rows of riot police were deployed on the ground, drones were seen flying overhead, and cops were seen on horseback.
Marshals at the stadium perimeter shouted "show your tickets please" at approaching fans and guards checked for tickets before letting them through.
A crowd of fans without tickets were waiting beyond the marshals.
"We hope to get in," said one man, who declined to give his name.
While Morocco, in the last 16 for the first time since 1986, is the underdog, the support of its vociferous, red-clan fans has been seen as a big asset in the first World Cup hosted by an Arab state."
Atlas Lions carry hopes of a whole continent," the Moroccan newspaper Maroc Le Jour declared in a front-page headline.
The match may gain piquancy from the familiarity of the opponents.
The Spanish mainland is visible from Morocco across the Strait of Gibraltar and thousands of Moroccans live there for work.
As a colonial power, Spain controlled swathes of northern Morocco as well as the disputed territory of Western Sahara, which Rabat sees as its own, and still retains two small North African enclaves at Ceuta and Melilla that Rabat says it should quit.
Diplomatic ties improved this year after Morocco had withdrawn its ambassador to Spain in 2021 in a dispute over Madrid's handling of medical treatment for a Western Sahara separatist leader.
The Moroccan consulate has asked fans to "show sportsmanship regardless of the result" and to avoid doing anything that could trigger incidents with Spanish fans.
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