What we know about Darwin Nunez’s fight with fans – potential ban & LFC stance

Darwin Nunez scaled barricades and went fist-to-fist with Colombian supporters, but how did it get that far and what are the possible ramifications?

After the final whistle as Colombia booked their place in the Copa America final, there was a clash between supporters in the stands behind the dugout, where the families of Uruguay players were seated.

Uruguay defender Jose Maria Gimenez told broadcasters that their families were “avalanched” by a group of Colombia fans and that players had to rush into the stand to keep them safe.

He added: “Our families are suffering because of those who take a few sips of alcohol, they don’t know how to drink, and then behave like children who have no sense of respect.”

With a lack of police and security presence, it got out of hand and El Observador, a Uruguayan newspaper, reported Nunez was among the first to get into the stand, along with Ronald Araujo, Matias Vina and Mathias Olivera.

The Athletic’s James Pearce has reported that the club are “keen to establish the facts” before passing comment, and the priority is to check on Nunez and his family.

Jose Maria Gimenez, Brian Rodriguez and Sebastian Caceres were also named as players who went into the stand, while Jorge Giordano, the director of the Uruguay national team, attempted to come between the players and supporters.

Video footage shows drinks and fists being thrown, with the players attempting to get in between the two groups – with Nunez taking on a boxer’s stance, receiving a punch and delivering his own.

The 25-year-old was in the thick of it, jumping over rows of seats before police finally made their presence known, all the while midfielder Manuel Ugarte’s mother reportedly fainted.

Video showing Darwin’s family leaving the stands before thing pop off between fans and players
byu/etan1122 inLiverpoolFC

Liverpool’s No. 9 was even spotted attempting to throw a chair at Colombia supporters from pitch level before being dragged away, receiving plenty of abuse by doing so.

The entire clash was said to have lasted at least 10 minutes as fans and members of the players’ families slowly ended up on the pitch, including Nunez’s young son and partner – who appear to have made it out before all the players rushed in.


Could there be a ban for Nunez?

PA report that Nunez “could face a lengthy ban” for his involvement, which, as noted above, included throwing punches and attempting to throw a chair into the stand.

For reference, Eric Dier was handed a four-game ban from the FA in 2020 after chasing a supporter into the stand during an FA Cup match with Tottenham, he was also fined £40,000.

This matter will likely be dealt with by South American football’s governing body, CONMEBOL, who released a statement after the brawl.

It read: “CONMEBOL strongly condemns any act of violence that affects football. Our work is based on the conviction that football connects us and unites us, through its positive values.

“There is no place for intolerance and violence on and off the field. We invite everyone in the remaining days to pour all their passion into cheering on their teams and having an unforgettable party.”


What has been said?

2XGY1W6 CHARLOTTE, NC - JULY 10: Uruguay forward Darwin Nunez (19) engages with hostile fans in the stands after the CONMEBOL Copa America semifinal between Uruguay and Colombia on Wednesday July 10, 2024 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. (Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire) (Icon Sportswire via AP Images)

Gimenez explained: “Colombian fans in a certain section descended on all our families. Our families were in danger. We had to rush into the stands to remove our loved ones with tiny newborn babies.

“It’s a total disaster. There wasn’t a single police officer. They showed up half an hour later. A disaster. And we were there, standing up for ourselves, for our loved ones.”

Luis Suarez said: “They were trying to protect their families. From what I saw, there were a lot of relatives and children affected. You’re left powerless in that situation.”

Uruguay goalkeeper Rochet said: “This could have been avoided. I thought this came about from where the families of players was sitting. When you see your family there there…we wanted to take our families out of there.”

AUF president Ignacio Alonso told reporters: “The players reacted instinctively to what is natural, which is to defend and protect the children that were in that part of the stands, the women who were being assaulted, the wives, fathers, children and brothers who were there.

“It’s an instinctive response of a father. It was a natural reaction that took place with much logic considering what was occurring around them.”