Columbus Crew fans go after refs, could face sanctions

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FILE – In this Oct. 31, 2017, file photo, Columbus Crew fans show their support for the team before the start of their MLS Eastern Conference semifinal soccer match against New York City FC in Columbus, Ohio. The Austin City Council is scheduled to decide Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018 whether to move ahead with a stadium plan that could prompt Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew to leave its home city after 22 years. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete, File)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The rowdy reputation of Columbus Crew soccer fans became evident following the team’s 3-2 loss to Atlanta United in the U.S. Open Cup on Tuesday, June 18, 2019.

The game ended on a controversial non-call, according to ProSoccerUSA.com. Several Crew players were yelling at the ref when a penalty wasn’t called on an Atlanta player as time expired. A fan threw a water bottle at the ref.

“I remember back in the day, people used to throw batteries at my guys in this stadium. you can’t have this happen.”

Liason for Major League Soccer officials

According to reporter Ben Ferree, “More players surrounded the officials, who then requested a police escort off the field.

“As the police walked the officiating team off, Crew fans gathered around edges of the stands, getting as close to the field as possible to shout profanities and make obsene hand gestures.”

The Crew issued a statement after the game saying fans could be arrested, ejected or banned for bad behavior. Fans could face sanctions as a group or individuals depending on how widespread bad behavior is.

The liason for officials, who was unnamed in the story, said: “I remember back in the day, people used to throw batteries at my guys in this stadium. you can’t have this happen. … People will get banned. And if it continues, you’ll eventually have games in empty stadiums.”

Columbus plays its next home game on Sunday vs. Sporting Kansas City.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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