Referee Halts Match Over Anti-Gay Chanting

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Referee Ivan Barton stopped the match in the 89th minute due to anti-gay chanting from the crowd. Play briefly resumed but was ultimately halted again in injury time when the offensive chant persisted, leading Barton to blow the final whistle.


During the Concacaf Nations League semifinal match on Thursday, the United States men’s national team secured a 3-0 victory over Mexico. However, the game was marred by a concerning incident involving anti-gay chanting, which prompted the referee to intervene.

Referee Ivan Barton, who had already issued four red cards during the game, halted the match in the 89th minute when he heard anti-gay chanting coming from the crowd at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. After a brief pause, play resumed.

Unfortunately, in the closing minutes of injury time, the offensive chant resurfaced when U.S. goalkeeper Matt Turner took a goal kick. In response to this recurrence, Barton decided to end the match, blowing the final whistle.

Following the game, Concacaf clarified to Media that the decision to halt the match was not based on specific federation protocols related to the anti-gay chant. Instead, it was made at the referee’s discretion.

The governing body said in a statement later on Friday: “Concacaf strongly condemns the discriminatory chanting by some fans during the CNL Semifinal match between Mexico and the United States.

“Chants heard during the game led to the activation of the anti-discrimination protocol by the match officials. Additionally, security staff ejected several fans for engaging in unacceptable behavior in the stadium,” the organisation said.

“These incidents were extremely disappointing and tarnished what should have been a positive occasion to showcase high-quality football in our region.

“The Confederation is in the process of urgently establishing further details and reports from security and match officials and will make a further statement in short order.”


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