London 2012: GB women's win kicks off Games in Cardiff
- 25 July 2012
- From the section Wales
The London 2012 Olympic Games have got under way with a win for the football women of Team GB at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.
GB beat New Zealand 1-0 and Brazil thrashed Cameroon 5-0, with a total of 30,847 fans attending the day's games.
There was a carnival atmosphere with street entertainment in the city centre ahead of the match.
Some fans were still queueing to have bags searched at kick-off, which was blamed on security teething problems.
Stadium staff said late arrivals had put pressure on the security checks but everyone was admitted within a few minutes of the game starting at 16:00 BST.
Street entertainment including tennis, athletics and cricket greeted Olympic dignitaries and ticket holders who flooded into Cardiff.
London 2012 chairman Lord Coe arrived to hail the opening of the games and stressed they were not just for London.
"When I came in this morning I felt I was arriving in an Olympic city, I have been to Cardiff plenty of times but it had a different feel about it today," he said.
After the match, fans leaving the stadium said they had enjoyed the experience although some were concerned about the security delays.
Millennium Stadium manager Gerry Toms told BBC Wales there were "teething problems" with the security process.
"The difficulty really was that people didn't listen to the advice they were given on their ticket, which said please do not bring bags," he said.
"People without bags actually entered the stadium straight away. They just moved very smoothly through the search lines and into the stadium and into their seats.
"Unfortunately, and I'm sorry for that, but the people who were delayed were those who actually brought large bags.
"I apologise to people who did not get inside in time for the kick-off but we are talking about four minutes.
"Four minutes past four, everyone was in. That's not an inordinate delay."
Games organisers Locog also said it was "regrettable" that food ran out in one area of the stadium after a period of "particularly high demand".
A spokesman said the outlets concerned had been restocked, and that fans had been allowed to leave the stadium to buy food in the city centre.
"The fact that these particular outlets ran out of food in the first place is obviously regrettable and we hope that this did not have too large an impact on the match day experience of the fans in this area," he said.
Danni Pearson, 25, from Bristol said the event had been brilliant.
"I didn't bring a bag so we walked straight through - it took about two minutes.
"We checked on the website before and it was not advised to bring a bag and it saved us so much time."
Marcos Marquez, 36, from Spain, said he believed the security was necessary.
"It's normal for big events. I think the Olympics is a good experience for people. I enjoyed it."
Andrew Berwick, 54, from Cardiff, said he had had a lovely day but also questioned the level of security.
"Cardiff has done a good job, there was so much going on," he said.
"I know why it was done but it seemed a bit over the top to take water away from small children on a really hot day."
Andy Moore, also from Cardiff, thought the organisation could have been better.
"I didn't have a problem getting in but if I had a bag I would've been frustrated," he said.
"Security was overkill to me. The cost must be astronomical."
Dr Jonathan Murphy, from Barry, said he had been waiting 25 minutes in the queue for the booths.
"I bought my tickets in advance, I'm just picking them up," he said.
"They've got two windows closed and there was no information where to come.
"There was also no differentiation between sales and picking up. This is unbelievable."
David Seal, 48, from Berkeley, Gloucestershire, travelled to the match with wife Debbie, 45, and son Jacob, 15.
"We have been trying for a long time to get tickets to the official opening in London on Friday and this is about the nearest we've got," he said.
"When the Olympic torch came through our area there was a lot of enthusiasm and you can see the same thing here."
Rob Green, 46, and his wife Julie, 49, from Oxford, made a late decision to attend the match.
"We were offered the tickets really at the last moment by a friend so we thought we'd come along," Mr Green said.
"There is a great atmosphere here. Everyone is friendly."
The Olympic football action began two days ahead of the opening ceremony in London on Friday.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter, who was among those attending the opening event, played down the chances of Great Britain football teams competing at future Olympics.
Blatter said opposition from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland would prove a difficult hurdle to overcome.
The stadium's opening game between Team GB and New Zealand was followed by another women's match, in which Brazil beat Cameroon 5-0.
Eleven matches in total will take place at the Millennium Stadium throughout the Games.
A Locog spokesman said the total attendance across Wednesday's two matches in Cardiff was 30,847.
"Today's attendances for the opening matches of the Olympic Football Tournament were unprecedented for women's football in the UK in recent years," he said.
Because of the way football is scheduled with the number of games and rest periods, the tournament has to start before the opening ceremony of the Games.
Under International Olympic Committee (IOC) rules, no events can be held in the host city until after the ceremony takes place.
Meanwhile, the security operation around the city has been stepped up, while roads around the stadium have been closed until 21:30 BST.
Extra capacity was also being provided by rail services.