Brawl breaks out between fans, players in stands at Copa América match in Uptown

CHARLOTTE — A brawl broke out Wednesday night between players and fans at the Copa América match at the Bank of America Stadium in Uptown Charlotte.

Darwin Núñez and about a dozen Uruguay teammates ran into the stands following a 1-0 loss, which was what started a major fight.

After a physical and contentious match, a melee broke out behind the Uruguay bench after Mexican referee César Ramos’ final whistle.

Beverages were then thrown between Uruguay fans and Colombia supporters.

Watch video of fight below:

Wednesday’s game was expected to draw the largest crowd for a soccer match this year at the stadium with 70,000 fans representing all 50 states and around 60 countries with two-thirds of the attendees having traveled more than 100 miles to be here.

“This is the best game I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Daniel Arias, a fan.

Whether you were cheering for Colombia or Uruguay the atmosphere at Bank of America Stadium was unmatched.

“It was once in a lifetime,” Arias said.

Unfortunately, the fight turned the energy into chaos.

“When I saw the players running, I was like OK, this is about to get ugly,” said Jorge Gonzales, a fan.

Gonzales was in the stands and captured the brawl on video.

He said it looked like the fight started after an altercation between fans and Uruguay players’ family members.

The soccer federation that oversees the matches released a statement in Spanish, which translates, in part, to read: “La Conmebol strongly condemns any act of violence. It goes on to say our work is based on the conviction that fútbol connects and unites us through its positive values.”

Gonzales said he hopes players’ families are better protected in the future and fans stay respectful.

“I was able to witness a Colombian fan, you know, start crying as his national anthem was played,” he said. “So, look more for those moments versus, you know, drinking a little bit too much and letting things spiral into chaos.”

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department was out in full force for the event and officers were there to stop the fight.

There were no arrests in connection to the brawl, CMPD said.

(VIDEO: Charlotte City Council approves $650 million for Bank of America Stadium renovations)

Hannah Goetz

Hannah Goetz, wsoctv.com

Hannah is a reporter for WSOC-TV.

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