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Fans Yell Homophobic Chant During U.S. and Mexico Soccer Match

Fans Yell Homophobic Chant During U.S. and Mexico Soccer Match

Soccer

Fans went so far as to throw water bottles on the field, even hitting one player in the face.

@wgacooper

Fan behavior, including yelling an antigay chant, caused the CONCACAF Nations League final in Denver between the United States and Mexico to be paused on Sunday night.

The pause happened at the end of the game before it went into over time.

"Referee John Pitti resumed the match after three minutes as players on both sides pleaded with the crowd to stop using the chant," ESPN reported.

The U.S. won the game 3-2. The CONCACAF Nations League is made up of national teams from North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.

U.S. player Christian Pulisic kicked the winning goal and ran to his teammates, including Giovanni Reyna. A fan then struck Reyna in the face with an object while other fans threw cups and bottles onto the field. Trainers walked him off the field after he was injured.

"Total lack of respect for what's happening on the field and all effort that both teams are putting into the game," U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter said, according to ESPN. "I think he's going to be OK, but he did take something to the head, and it could have been a lot worse.''

Reyna returned to the field for the trophy celebrations.

Denver police arrested five people, and stadium security ejected other fans, reported The Denver Post.

The anti-LGBTQ+ chant is used, ESPN reported, by some fans at Mexico national games and games in other Latin American countries. The issue has persisted for years. Protocols by CONCACAF when fans use the chant include a warning and then a pause in the game. If the chanting continues, then the referee can send teams back to the locker rooms and even end the game.

Mexico is currently under investigation by FIFA for its fans' anti-LGBTQ chanting, according to ESPN. The country's soccer federation released a statement Tuesday telling fans "to avoid the discriminatory chant, our biggest opponent, that can result in our team losing a match, and even keep us from playing in the World Cup."

@wgacooper
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