Colombia advances to Copa América final as tempers flare post-match

Colombia advanced to the Copa América final following a 1-0 win over Uruguay at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Wednesday, but the game was marred by unsavory scenes after full-time.

Jefferson Lerma scored the match’s only goal in the 39th minute as Los Cafeteros extended their unbeaten streak to 28 matches.

The match was testy and featured seven yellow cards and one red card after Colombia’s Daniel Muñoz was ejected in the first half after being shown a second yellow card.

Tempers flared even more after the match.

After the final whistle, players from both squads got into it at center field before the Fox Sports 1 broadcast showed Uruguayan players entering the stands and getting into a scuffle with fans.

A ‘disaster’

Uruguay captain José María Giménez said after the match that players were trying to defend their families and called the incident with fans a “disaster.”

“Let me tell you something: they should have been careful because there are families in the grandstand,” Gimenez told the official broadcaster in Spanish.

“And if there is an avalanche falling over our families, those of the fans of a certain sector of Colombia – and they don’t let me talk about this on the microphone, but I’m going to say it now because I know I can, if they don’t cut you off before.

“This is a disaster. Our families were in danger. We had to go to the grandstand to take out our loved ones carrying little newborn babies. A disaster.

“There wasn’t a single policeman in the whole half hour. A disaster. And we were the ones showing our faces for our loved ones. Hopefully, the people organizing this will be a little more careful with the families, with the people and with the surroundings of the stadiums, which is a disaster.

“Because all games are the same. Our families are suffering because of people who drink two drinks of alcohol, don’t know how to drink and behave like children and can’t be decent. I hope they will be careful the next game and this won’t happen again because this is a disaster.”

Players from both squads clashed on the field after the full-time whistle. - Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire/AP
Players from both squads clashed on the field after the full-time whistle. - Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire/AP

South America’s football governing body – CONMEBOL – said it “emphatically condemns” the incident.

“Our work begins with the conviction that football connects us and unites us, through its positive values,” it said in a statement after the game.

“There is no place for intolerance and violence on and off the pitch.

“We invite everyone in the days that remain to throw all their passion to support their national teams and have an unforgettable party.”

CNN has reached out to the Uruguayan Football Association (UFA), while the Charlotte Police Department declined to comment.

Colombia, which has won the tournament once in its history back in 2001, will face Lionel Messi and Argentina in the final on Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.

CNN’s Patrick Sung and Valeria Ordoñez Ghio contributed reporting.

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