FanDuel - WFBC

August 15, 2009

Photos from the American Section at Azteca Stadium: Freelance photojournalist Douglas Zimmerman accompanied U.S. soccer fans to Azteca Stadium and lived to tell about it. "The Mexican fans at that point began throwing items at the American fans," he writes after the U.S. scored the first goal. "For the most part it was beer in cups that was hurled over. But different items also made their way into the section. "They included water bottles, batteries, pieces of rock and anything that a Mexican fan could possibly throw. ... After Mexico scored their second goal with several minutes left in the match, the thrown items actually increased."

posted by rcade to soccer at 04:39 PM - 27 comments

Batteries? And I thought Shane Victorino had a rough time!

posted by jjzucal at 06:10 PM on August 15

Oh my.

posted by NoMich at 06:28 PM on August 15

Somehow I don't expect FIFA or CONCACAF to impose any sanctions on the Mexican FA (or whatever it's called). Not being a sore loser or anything, but this kind of behavior gets clamped down on more quickly in Europe - having to play the next game in front of an empty stadium occasionally.

posted by sbacharach at 10:04 PM on August 15

On the International Scale of Football Rioting*, this would rate about a 2.5.

*sometimes referred to as the Flaming Vespa Scale

posted by owlhouse at 10:19 PM on August 15

Fair enough Owl, but is it too much to ask that one or two battery hurlers get caught on video and are hauled off to the clink? For all I know that happened, but I'm skeptical.

posted by sbacharach at 11:48 PM on August 15

I know some of the guys in those photos. I'll try to find their videos of the game. When I'm sober.

posted by goddam at 11:56 PM on August 15

but is it too much to ask that one or two battery hurlers get caught on video and are hauled off to the clink

I agree absolutely. As long as they also get the Seasider bastards that threw a bottle at me on Southend railway station after a cup tie with Chester City. And we, the away fans had the police escort from the ground.

/Gone all nostalgic, now.

posted by owlhouse at 02:39 AM on August 16

As an L.A. resident who has seen similar behavior against U.S. fans by Mexican fans at the Rose Bowl, I can't help but think of the Northwestern(?) chant:

That's alright That's OK You will work for us someday.

posted by cjets at 03:01 AM on August 16

Nice...

posted by StarFucker at 04:50 AM on August 16

This clearly means the US soccer team is better than the Mexico side.

Please. Let it go already.

posted by The_Special_Juan at 01:01 PM on August 16

Why should we let this go? It's inexcusable behavior, and I haven't seen any evidence that Mexican officials take it the least bit seriously. If visiting Mexican fans were treated like that when visiting the U.S., I'd expect something to be done about it.

posted by rcade at 01:16 PM on August 16

Reminds me of Labour Day in Ivor Wynne Stadium.

posted by rocket88 at 02:29 PM on August 16

This isn't a Mexican problem, or a soccer problem. This happens in other sports, and in other countries.

While I can't confirm tossing of vomit or urine, it reads and looks like any game at Ralph Wilson Stadium, or the Pontiac Silverdome ( I haven't made it to Ford Field yet, but I don't think I've missed much) that I have attended, about 12 in total. There was vomit and urine on the floors of the washrooms though, that I know.

Every game had fights between supporters of the Bills or Lions, and the visitor respectively. Things were thrown at fans of the vistors, and verbal abuse was non-ending. This would occur both in the stadium, and in the lots outside before and after the game.

That said, this is more a problem with society, and decency, and what is and isn't acceptable behaviour. So many people these days just don't care.

A finger should also be pointed at the Mexican authorities, both in the stadium, and in the city. They knew the size of the crowd, and how passions run high, and should have dealt with troublemakers more swiftly and decisively.

posted by tommytrump at 03:34 PM on August 16

This isn't a Mexican problem, or a soccer problem. This happens in other sports, and in other countries.

It is a worldwide problem but football (soccer) fans seem to be the worst. Riots, stabbings, shootings. players hit with flares. And it's unfortunate because it gives the haters a reason to continually rag on soccer.

I've never been to Ralph Wilson or the Silverdome but I've been to games (football, baseball, basketball and hockey) in NY, Boston, L.A., D.C., San Diego, San Francisco and probably a few more I can't think of. And every time I've been at a road game for the Jets, I've worn a Jets jersey.

There's lots of verbal abuse and the occasional fistfight but I've never felt unsafe. And anytime there is a fistfight, the guys get tossed. And anytime some one throws something, the guy gets tossed.

There may be puke and pee in the bathroom but no one's throwing it at the players.

The problems may be getting worse at NFL games but it is simply incorrect to compare to the level of soccer violence and the "hooliganism" that accompanies many of these games.

A finger should also be pointed at the Mexican authorities, both in the stadium, and in the city.

I couldn't agree more.

posted by cjets at 05:05 PM on August 16

Beer was thrown on a Phillies player in Chicago. The man who threw it is being charged with assault.

Some of the fans throwing things at Azteca could have been arrested.

posted by Aardhart at 07:58 PM on August 16

The problem goes well beyond soccer. It's a reflection of the animus felt by our neighbors to the south regarding anything "gringo".

posted by sandskater at 12:14 AM on August 17

These sort of ignorant people happen in any nationality and in all countries. Seen em here in America, as well as Europe and Latin america. Lack of ethics, respect or morals always result in these kind of actions.

posted by moralega at 11:02 AM on August 17

I think in many (non-USA) countries the stands are set up to physically separate supporters of the opposing sides. Not sure if this was the case in Mexico but even if it was Azteca clearly does not provide sufficient separation.

posted by billsaysthis at 01:51 PM on August 17

Is there a secret code you need to see the pics?

posted by Fat Buddha at 02:50 PM on August 17

Did you click the original headline F B ? It worked for me just now.

posted by tommytrump at 04:23 PM on August 17

this is more a problem with society, and decency, and what is and isn't acceptable behaviour. So many people these days just don't care.

Amen, tommytrump.

posted by mjkredliner at 04:40 PM on August 17

"The problem goes well beyond soccer. It's a reflection of the animus felt by our neighbors to the south regarding anything "gringo"."

Wow now I can't wait to hear why it is our "gringo" fault that they feel this way. I for one am getting sick of the animus felt by our lovely neighbors. I guess if Mexico dissappeared tomorrow it would take most Americans a long time to notice it was gone except for the fact that there would be a dramatic reduction of illegal immigration all of a sudden.

posted by Atheist at 05:54 PM on August 17

There was some kind of Blogger outage today that knocked the pictures offline for a while.

Anyone trying to make this a Mexico vs. U.S. thing is ignoring the many examples of boorish and out-of-control behavior from fans all over the place.

posted by rcade at 07:05 PM on August 17

A finger should also be pointed at the Mexican authorities, both in the stadium, and in the city. They knew the size of the crowd, and how passions run high, and should have dealt with troublemakers more swiftly and decisively.

A useful point of comparison might be the 2007 lockdown on Italian club football, after a policeman was killed during fighting between "fans" of (bitter Sicilian rivals) Palermo and Catania. Italian club crowds, with their politically-tinged ultras, make the Azteca look like a kindergarten; stadium bosses and local government had contrived to turn a blind eye towards lax security and safety, and it took the national government to step in and address the long-standing problems.

In this case, it's going to take FIFA and CONCACAF, since it's a national team at the national stadium, but that requires standing up to the Mexican FA. It's one thing to cultivate an intimidating atmosphere; it's another to tacitly encourage the worst excesses.

posted by etagloh at 12:26 AM on August 18

Another useful point of comparison is the Mexico / US games in the States. If I'm not mistaken those games are often filled with Mexican supporters to a point where it feels like a road game for the US side. Do the Mexican fans chuck rocks and urine and vomit at those games? I don't recall it being an issue. Are the fans rowdy? Yes! But a better rowdy, not a urine-tossing, battery-throwing rowdy. It is at least something more akin to what you see at a heated rivalry game in the NFL / NHL / NBA / MLB.

I don't condone or excuse the Azteca fans one bit, but this speaks to the point that the fault extends greatly to stadium security, the Mexican FA, FIFA and CONCACAF for failing to take proper actions that would prevent --- or at least limit --- this crap.

posted by 86 at 10:31 AM on August 18

If I'm not mistaken those games are often filled with Mexican supporters to a point where it feels like a road game for the US side. Do the Mexican fans chuck rocks and urine and vomit at those games?

No, they don't chuck rocks or vomit here (not that I'm aware of anyway). But at the Gold Cup game at Giants Stadium there were objects thrown at us as we marched in. And even more stuff was thrown during the game. It may not have been rocks or vomit, but I can't imagine getting hit with a half-full bottle of Gatorade that was thrown from the upper deck is much fun. Sure, it wasn't nearly as bad as Azteca, but this behavior is not exclusive to games taking place in Mexico.

posted by goddam at 11:09 AM on August 18

Sure, it wasn't nearly as bad as Azteca...

That is sort of my point --- While some are saying it's a soccer problem or a rivalry problem or a problem with Mexican fans, I don't see that being the case. It's the same sport, same teams, and even the same fans when they play at Giants Stadium, but less urine-tossing. And, unless my impressions are wrong, you could easily compare it to a heated Giants/Eagles or Yankees/Sox games.

If that is the case, it seems we can point to the location of the event as a significant factor in this mess. Terrible fan behavior happens in the States (and elsewhere), but it seems to be taken to a particularly disgusting and dangerous level in Azteca when the USAians come to town. They should do something about that.

posted by 86 at 12:05 PM on August 18

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