Toronto FC Suspends Supporters Group After Causing Stadium Fire
Toronto FC has "indefinitely suspended recognized supporter group privileges and announced plans for a review of the program Thursday after fires briefly burned in the stands during a Canadian Championship game at Ottawa’s TD Place Stadium," according to Gregory Strong of the CP. Ottawa police "were investigating Wednesday night’s incident, which led to a delay late in the second half of the two-leg semifinal opener" between TFC and USL club Ottawa Fury (CP, 7/19). PRO SOCCER USA's Oliver Platt noted fire services "were called to TD Place when banners hung by TFC fans appeared to set on fire as flares were let off in the away supporters’ section." One video "showed a flare bouncing onto the pitch before exploding, causing damage to the stadium’s artificial turf." Multiple fans were "ejected but no arrests were made" (PROSOCCERUSA.com, 7/19).
CHANGING PROTOCOL: Ottawa Sports & Entertainment Group CEO Mark Goudie said that OSEG is "taking stock of its own security protocols at TD Place" after Wednesday's incident. Goudie: "Ultimately, there will be MLS, and Toronto will play here again, and we will have to spend some time debriefing and figure out how we’re better equipped to deal with it and handle it next time" (OTTAWA SUN, 7/20).