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Yalla Shoot :USMNT’s Nations League Win vs. Mexico Ends Early Due to Fans’ Anti-Gay Chants | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

LAS VEGAS, NV - JUNE 15: USA starting eleven in a huddle during a CONCACAF Nations League game between Mexico and United States at Allegiant Stadium on June 15, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Robin Alam/ISI Photos/Getty Images).

Robin Alam/ISI Photos/Getty Images

The United States men’s national team’s 3-0 Concacaf Nations League semifinal victory over Mexico ended early during stoppage time in the second half after referee Ivan Barton halted the game following continued anti-gay chants by some fans at the Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, capping an ugly evening in which he handed out four red cards and patrons threw trash on the field.

As ESPN’s Cesar Hernandez noted, Barton initially halted play in the 89th minute to activate the anti-discrimination protocol. A warning went out to the crowd, stating that the match could be abandoned if there was further chanting.

With four minutes left during the 12-minute stoppage time period, some fans again chanted an anti-gay slur at United States goalkeeper Matt Turner during a goal kick. The match then stopped early.

“It goes against everything that we stand for, on our side,” Turner said, per Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times.

“We’ve been very open and vocal about, you know, the strength of our nation being its diversity. So, to use something so divisive during a game, a spirited game…it has no place in the game.”

Concacaf released a statement post-match, saying the “incidents were extremely disappointing” and that they “tarnished what should have been a positive occasion to showcase high quality football in our region.”

As Hernandez noted, the Mexican Football Federation (FMF) has had issues recently stopping fans from yelling the anti-gay chant at opposing goalkeepers during goal kicks. FIFA even issued a $108,000 sanction when the chant was heard at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

U.S. Soccer passed new policies on anti-discriminatory chants last year, and Alex Reimer of Outsports reported on some of the more extreme consequences after “a source close to U.S. Soccer” shared some details:

“In order to hold promoters accountable, U.S. Soccer is mandating they post a bond equal to the lesser of 10% of the anticipated paid gate of the match or $1 million. If the promoter doesn’t take appropriate action to stop bigoted chants, U.S. Soccer will use the liquidated damages to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) initiatives.

“In addition, promoters won’t be able to hold international contests for two years after the first violation. The ban extends to five years after a second violation, and becomes indefinite if a third violation occurs.”

Cyd Zeigler of Outsports called out the offensive behavior Thursday but also noted United States Soccer’s inaction in stopping the matter from getting worse.

“It’s become a ridiculous joke. US Soccer has claimed that they are taking this seriously, though they have taken absolutely zero punitive actions to curb the chant,” he said. “They had the opportunity to act on a friendly in April, but their inaction has emboldened Mexico fans for this match.”

Zeigler called for a two-year ban of Mexico playing in the U.S.

Cyd Zeigler @CydZeigler

The <a href=” match has been suspended as Mexico fans refused to stop chanting a gay slur.<br><br>THANK YOU! Now ban Mexico from playing in the United States for the next 2 years.<a href=”https://t.co/wtWKxvpRWO”>https://t.co/wtWKxvpRWO</a>

Otherwise, it was a match marred by physical clashes.

Mexico center back César Montes was shown a red card after a hard tackle on striker Folarin Balogun from behind. The two teams then engaged in a scuffle on the field, and trash was thrown onto the pitch from the stands.

USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie was then sent off after defending his teammate, notably putting his hand on the throat of defender Jorge Sánchez. His jersey was ripped off in the process.

Later in the half, USMNT full back Sergiño Dest and Mexico defender Gerardo Arteaga were shown red cards after a confrontation occurred following midfielder Edson Álvarez’s foul on the American.

The ugliness got far worse from there, to the point where the match wasn’t even completed.

The tournament will conclude Sunday at 8:30 p.m. ET when Canada plays the United States in the final.

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