Toronto FC fans complain about treatment inside and outside Montreal Saputo Stadium

Toronto FC fans complain about treatment inside and outside Montreal Saputo Stadium

MONTREAL — In addition to enduring sanctions at Saputo Stadium, some Toronto FC fans who travelled to Montreal for Thursday’s MLS knockout-round playoff game against the Impact say they came in for some rough treatment before and after the game.

Star TFC striker Sebastian Giovinco, meanwhile, had to be escorted to the team bus after an apparent run-in with a fan behind a barrier. Video posted on Twitter showed a security guard and teammate leading Giovinco away as a fan cursed him.

The Impact banned flags, banners and instruments and implemented a no-bag policy for travelling TFC supporters as “a result of their illegal and dangerous actions” in the season finale last Sunday. That game saw the visiting supporters fire off flares.

“The club and Stade Saputo encourage supporter groups but we insist on providing a safe environment while abiding by stadium regulations and the law,” the Impact said in levying the sanctions.

Montreal fans lit up their own flares during Thursday’s game, won 3-0 by the Impact. Meanwhile, stadium officials went into the partially filled Toronto section during the game to remove a banner that, complete with F-bomb, decried the sanctions.

A TFC supporter said he was bloodied after being hit with an metal expandable bar by someone from a rival group of fans as they headed to Thursday’s game.

“The girl with us tried to stop it, and she got closed first punched in the face,” said the fan, who asked not to identified.

He said he saw another altercation after the game.

“They went at our supporters and they went at our star player post game. You won’t get away with this,” tweeted another TFC supporter.

The Montreal Impact did not respond to a query about fan violence. Toronto FC said it had not been made aware of any complaints.

Montreal police said no arrests were made around the game.

The Canadian Press

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