BETTING À DAY
Reacting to a video showing a fight involving CF Montreal supporters present at the game against Toronto FC at BMO Field on Tuesday, the Montreal team indicated the next day that it will refuse access to the Saputo stadium to fans of the Ontario team during the game between the same two clubs on Saturday evening.
Also read: CF Montreal: a battle breaks out in the stands in Toronto
Also read: Canadian Championship: CF Montreal defeats Toronto rival
The unsightly scene showing a violent battle that occurred before the quarter-final duel of the Canadian Championship was widely broadcast on social networks and the senior management of CF did not remain silent. “Reds” fans who were hoping to travel to Montreal for Saturday's clash, scheduled as part of the Major League Soccer (MLS) schedule this time around, will have to redo their plans.
“The incidents that occurred Tuesday night during the game in Toronto are extremely unfortunate and unacceptable. CF Montreal condemns any act of violence. An investigation is underway. The safety of our fans and fan groups is a priority for the club, the club said in a statement. No violence is tolerated at the Saputo stadium, just like in the other stadiums where our fans travel. We have made the decision to close the opposing fan section at Saputo Stadium for Saturday's game against Toronto. TFC fans who purchased tickets in this section will be refunded. We are in discussions with Canada Soccer, MLS and Toronto FC to make sure every event is safe.”
- Listen to the interview with Gavino De Falco , IMFC radio podcast host and MLS game descriptor for Apple TV on QUB radio:
Circumstances to be clarified
The video in question was shared by an individual claiming that Toronto FC had insured CF fans who went to the Queen City that their safety would not be a problem. However, the Internet user added that people supporting the local training attacked the visitors in the rather bare stands. However, it is rather difficult to identify the belligerents and their affiliation on the sequence posted online.
On the pitch, CF triumphed 2-1 to advance to the semi-final of the national competition, where they will face Forge FC. After the TFC's visit to Montreal this weekend, the two great rivals will meet again at BMO Field on August 20.
A stormy relationship
Interactions between the fans of the two clubs are far from being in good shape. In August 2021, Montreal and Toronto supporters had trouble leaving Saputo Stadium. Those in favor of Toronto were allegedly assaulted, as reported at the time by “Le Journal de Montréal”, which convinced the TFC to demand the banning of Montreal fans who wanted to attend a match at BMO Field a few weeks later. The MLS has also agreed to this request.
For its part, the Montreal management had closed section 132, occupied by the Ultras group, due to multiple allegations of violence and inappropriate behavior.