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Massive brawl breaks out as Uruguay players rush Colombian fans in stands after Copa América semifinal loss
July 11 2024, 08:00

A horrific scene broke out at the end of a Copa América semifinal on Wednesday night as Uruguay players brawled with Colombian fans in the stands. 

After Colombia defeated Uruguay, 1-0, to advance to the Copa América final, things turned violent when cameras caught Uruguay players, seemingly led by Darwin Núñez, walking into the stands and throwing punches at Colombia fans. 

Security at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, attempted to hold players back, but things were already getting too ugly. 


Núñez appeared to throw several punches in videos of the brawl that have surfaced, while Uruguay defender José María Giménez threw a punch as well. 

Colombia fans were fighting back, throwing punches themselves while others were throwing objects toward the brawl while it was taking place. 


After things finally settled, everyone wanted to get to the bottom of why Uruguay players would jump into the stands and fight fans. Giménez said the families of the Uruguay players were in danger. 


"Please be careful because the families are in the stands. They stormed all our families, a certain sector of Colombia fans and they won’t let us speak on the microphone," Giménez said to Fox Sports in a Spanish interview that was translated to English. "I’m going to say it now because I know I can. Because if not, they’ll cut you off. 

"This is a disaster. Our families are in danger. We had to get on the top of the stands as soon as possible to rescue our loved ones with newborn babies. It was a disaster.

"I hope those who are organizing this are a little more careful with the families, with the people and with the people around in the stadiums. It’s a disaster because all the matches are the same. The families are suffering because of some who drink one or two shots of alcohol that don’t know how to drink who behave like children and are not decent."

Giménez’s argument that Uruguay players were protecting their families was reiterated by Uruguay Football Association President Ignacio Alonso. 

"Uruguay’s players had an instinctive reaction, which is natural, which is going to defend and protect the children who were on that side of the stands, who were suffering attacks, the women, the parents, the closest family members, siblings," he said in a Spanish interview that was translated to English.

CONMEBOL, which is the South American governing body of Copa América, released its own statement, saying they strongly condemn "any act of violence that affects football."

"Our work is based on the conviction that soccer connects and unites us through its positive values. There is no place for intolerance and violence on and off the field," the statement read. 

Before the fight broke out in the stands, things were already chippy with these two teams on the pitch. First, Daniel Muñoz was sent off for the match after receiving two yellow cards, leaving Colombia down one man for the entire second half. Muñoz had elbowed Uruguay’s Manuel Ugarte, leading to the referee to pull out his second card. 

Then, at the end of the match, players and staff members from both teams were seen in a scuffle at midfield, with pushing and shoving taking place before it broke up. 

While emotions run high during any sporting event, nobody ever wants to see them spill over in this fashion. 

CONMEBOL will hope the Copa América final between Colombia and Argentina this Sunday will not see the same reckless behavior. 

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