Fan who hits USMNT’s Gio Reyna in the head with a projectile is arrested, banned and faced with a criminal complaint
The fan responsible for throwing the projectile that hit the US men’s national player Gio Reyna at the final of the CONCACAF Nations League between the USA and Mexico was arrested, suspended and now has to face a criminal complaint.
Stadium officials at Empower Field at Mile High, where the game was played on Sunday night, confirmed the news in a statement on 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 spoiled a memorable event. In addition to expelling several people for violating the fan code of conduct, our security staff worked closely with Denver Police to identify five people who were arrested – four for trespassing and one for throwing projectiles.
“The person arrested for throwing an object on the field of play was identified by security footage as being responsible for injuring a US player. In addition to a criminal charge, this patron will be banned from all future events at Empower Field at Mile High.
US national team players were pelted with objects thrown by fans as they celebrated Christian Pulisic’s game-winning penalty in extra time of the Nations League title game. Reyna had to be treated on the field by US team coaches after a broadcast video showed that a projectile from the stands hit him in the head.
I’m right in the corner where the USMNT was partying, disgusting what just happened. Some people should spend the night in jail tonight or longer. Gio Reyna was smashed in the temple with a full Coca Cola. pic.twitter.com/nI2qUERGZf
– Maximiliano Bretos (@MaxBretosSports) June 7, 2021
Reyna scored the USA’s first goal in the game at the beginning of the first half and temporarily leveled the score to 1-1. It was his first goal in a competitive game for the senior team and his family, including his father and former US soccer legend Claudio Reyna, were in the stands. The USMNT would win the game 3-2 in a dramatic overtime finish.
MORE: Takeaways and notes from the USA vs. Mexico Nations League final
After the game, US head coach Gregg Berhalter said Reyna “will be fine”. A USMNT official said Monday that the player was fine.
“There is no place in the game, spectators throw objects onto the field,” said Berhalter on Sunday. “Total lack of respect for what’s going on on the field and all the effort that both teams put into the game. It’s really disappointing to see. I think he’s going to be fine but he has something in the game Taken head and it could be “was a lot worse.”
In the middle of a cloud of dust between the two teams at the other end of the field, more projectiles were thrown. One of these projectiles hit Mexican striker Henry Martin. The person responsible for this incident has yet to be identified, according to stadium officials.
The two instances of fans throwing debris on the field tarnished a compelling rivalry for the Nations League’s first crown that saw 37,648 draw at Empower Field, home of the Denver Broncos.
Towards the end of the game, there were also pitch invasions by a handful of fans, causing the game to be suspended until each player was evacuated from the field. Empower Field officials said a total of four people were arrested for trespassing.
The Mexican Football Association also issued a statement on Monday addressing the fan incidents and the use of a homophobic chant by a segment of Mexican fans, which resulted in the game being paused under a protocol set by organizers to crack down on the chant.
Unfortunately, due to the behavior of some now all over the world, Mexico fans are being called out for discriminatory or violent acts.
Following the events of our last MexTour game in Dallas and the Concacaf Nations League games in Denver, the FMF urges fans to avoid the discriminatory chant, our greatest opponent, that can cause our team to lose a game, and even prevents us from playing at 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 and avoid abusive, discriminatory or violent behavior that does not represent today’s Mexico or has been considered the best fans in the world for years.