Friday, March 9, 2012

David Beckham vs. The Beer Can

On Wednesday night, the Los Angeles Galaxy and Toronto FC treated soccer fans to a very entertaining CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal 2-2 draw at the Rogers Centre in Toronto. Despite two excellent early goals from Toronto and then LA's efforts to battle back and pick up two away goals, the most memorable moment of the evening was in the 88th minute when, despite a wall of security guards, a beer can was hurled at David Beckham as he prepared to take a corner kick. Beckham picked the can up in anger, yelling about it to officials, and Bruce Arena was seen pointing at his watch in effort to make sure the officials accounted for this in extra time, then Beckham settled down, took the corner which Landon Donovan managed to put into the goal for LA.

It's interesting to note that this incident occurred about a week after MLS handed down sanctions on Houston Dynamo supporter groups for incidents that occurred last season in MLS, and despite all the fuss that created within the soccer fan community, Wednesday's incident indicates that the projectile issue in North American soccer hasn't disappeared.

Since Wednesday's match was a CONCACAF game not an MLS game I'm not going to pontificate on what the suits should do about the incident, rather, I think the incident highlights that it is a difficult issue to police, even within the supporter groups cause all it takes is one drunken fan to throw something without warning. Policies on beverage containers vary from stadium to stadium, but even in stadiums where all drinks are served in plastic cups, those cups can become projectiles too - I vividly recall that happening during a Mexico-Panama match at Reliant Stadium.

I really don't have any good solutions for this issue. I really don't have a strong stance one or another regarding MLS's sanctions of Dynamo fans. What I do know is that throwing projectiles is wrong, and, with the start of the 2012 MLS season tomorrow, I'm hoping the projectile issue won't be a big issue this season.

No comments: