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Police arrest 5 in connection with behavior at Nations League Final in Denver

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Posted at 8:26 PM, Jun 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-07 22:26:55-04

DENVER – Denver police arrested five people in connection with their behavior at Sunday’s CONCACAF Nations League Final at Empower Field at Mile High.

Four of those people were arrested for trespassing and another was arrested for throwing projectiles, the stadium management group said. The person arrested for throwing an object was identified by security footage and has been banned from all future events at Empower Field at Mile High.

Video showed U.S. midfielder Giovanni Reyna being hit in the face with some sort of object thrown by someone in the crowd after Christian Pulisic’s penalty-kick goal in the 114th minute of the 3-2 American win over Mexico. Several other objects, including water bottles, were also thrown onto the field during that celebration.

Several people were kicked out of the game for violating the stadium’s fan code of conduct as well, the stadium management company said in a statement.

“While the night showcased Denver as a world—class soccer destination and Empower Field at Mile High as a premier sports and entertainment venue, the actions of a few patrons unfortunately took away from a memorable event,” the company said.

Play was also stopped during Sunday’s match because homophobic slurs were chanted from the crowd – something that happened in the semifinals matchup between Mexico and Costa Rica as well.

“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.”

The Mexican Football Federation issued a statement Monday asking its fans to avoid “the discriminatory chant” and not throw things on the pitch.

“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 biggest opponent, that can result in our team losing a match, and even keep us from playing in the World Cup,” the FMF said. “We also ask fans to avoiding acts of violence from the stands, such as throwing objects to the pitch.”