The fan responsible for launching the projectile that struck US men’s player Gio Reyna during the CONCACAF Nations League final between the US and Mexico was arrested, suspended and now faces criminal charges.
Stadium officials at Empower Field at Mile High, where the game was played Sunday night, confirmed the news in a statement Monday:
“While the night featured Denver as a world-class soccer destination and Empower Field at Mile High as a premier sports and entertainment venue, the actions of some patrons unfortunately took away a memorable event. In addition to expelling multiple people for violating the fan code of conduct, our security staff worked closely with the Denver Police Department to identify five people who were arrested – four for trespassing and one for throwing projectiles. .
“The person arrested for throwing an object onto the field was identified through security footage as responsible for injuring an American player. In addition to facing criminal charges, this client will be barred from all future events at Empower Field at Mile High.
Fans threw objects at US national team players as they celebrated Christian Pulisic’s penalty goal in overtime of the Nations League title game. Reyna needed to be treated by the US team’s coaches on the field after a broadcast video showed a projectile from the stands hitting him in the head.
I’m right at the corner where USMNT held, disgusting what just happened. Some people should spend the night in jail tonight, or longer. Gio Reyna was smashed on the temple with a full Coke. pic.twitter.com/nI2qUERGZf
– Maximiliano Bretos (@MaxBretosSports) June 7, 2021
Reyna scored the first goal of the game for the United States early in the first half, momentarily leveling the score at 1-1. It was his first goal in a competitive game for the senior team and his family, including his father and former American soccer legend Claudio Reyna, were in the stands for the event. The USMNT would win the match 3-2 in a dramatic final in overtime.
MORE: Conclusions and qualifications from the United States vs. Mexico League of Nations final
After the game, United States head coach Gregg Berhalter said Reyna “is going to be fine.” A USMNT official indicated Monday that the player was fine.
“It has no place in the game, the spectators throw objects onto the field,” Berhalter said Sunday. “Total disrespect for what’s happening on the pitch and all the effort both teams were putting into the game. It’s really disappointing to watch. I think it’s going to be okay, but it brought something to the head, and it could have been. been much worse. “
More projectiles were launched in the middle of a fight between the two teams at the other end of the field. One of those projectiles hit Mexican striker Henry Martin. The person responsible for that incident has yet to be identified, according to stadium officials.
The two instances of fans throwing debris onto the field marred a compelling rivalry showdown for the inaugural Nations League crown that drew 37,648 at Empower Field, home of the Denver Broncos.
There were also field invasions by a handful of fans towards the end of the game that resulted in a stoppage of play until the individuals were removed from the field. Empower Field officials stated that a total of four people were arrested for breaking and entering.
The Mexican Soccer Federation also issued a statement on Monday addressing fan incidents and the use of a homophobic chant by a segment of Mexican fans that resulted in a game interruption as part of a protocol established by the organizers to suppress the chant.
Unfortunately, due to the conduct of some, fans of Mexico are now being denounced around the world for acts of discrimination or violence.
After the events of our recent MexTour match in Dallas, and the Concacaf Nations League games in Denver, the FMF urges its fans to avoid the discriminatory chant, our greatest opponent, which may result in our team losing. a game, and even avoid playing in the World Cup.
We also ask fans to avoid acts of violence from the stands, such as throwing objects onto the pitch.
We count on your support for the National Team from the stands, avoiding any offensive, discriminatory or violent conduct that does not represent Mexico today, nor those that for years have been recognized as the best fans in the world.