A Mexican fan accused of throwing objects during Sunday’s rowdy Nations League soccer final has been arrested and banned from attending future events at Empower Field at Mile High in Denver.
The stadium management company said the man was identified via security footage after U.S. player Giovanni Reyna was struck in the face with an object, The Denver Post reported.
Four other people were arrested for trespassing during the game, which the U.S. won 3-2 against Mexico.
“While the night showcased Denver as a world-class soccer destination and Empower Field at Mile High as a premiere sports and entertainment venue, the actions of a few patrons unfortunately took away from a memorable event,” the stadium management company said in a statement.
— Empower Field at Mile High (@EmpowerField) June 7, 2021
Other fans were ejected for violating the fan code of conduct, stadium officials said.
Mexico was leading the game when Christian Pulisic was pulled down by Mexico’s Carlos Salcedo, leading to the game-changing chain of events.
Referee John Pitti called a penalty after a video review, during which Mexico coach Gerardo Martino touched an official and received a red card and was kicked out of the game.
Pulisic scored what would be the game-winner on his ensuing penalty kick.
— CBS Sports Golazo (@CBSSportsGolazo) June 7, 2021
Irate Mexican fans pelted the American players with water bottles and cups while the American team celebrated, according to ESPN.
One of the objects hit Reyna, who had scored the U.S. team’s first goal, directly in the face.
Gio Reyna was hit by debris thrown by a fan as the USMNT was celebrating a goal.pic.twitter.com/NW9NdE4VUy
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) June 7, 2021
“Total lack of respect for what’s happening on the field and all effort that both teams are putting into the game,” U.S. team manager Gregg Berhalter said.
“I think he’s going to be OK, but he did take something to the head, and it could have been a lot worse.”
Mexican fans also managed to hit one of their own players in the fusillade of objects.
#Mexico fans are trying to hit USA players…instead hit their own team.
— CHRIS TORELLO (@TorelloSports) June 7, 2021
“Empower Field at Mile High is fully committed to providing a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for all participants and fans,” the stadium management company said.
“Our fan code of conduct will continue to be strictly enforced to ensure a positive experience for everyone.”
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