It was the most significant match for Canada’s men’s national soccer team in years, and played in front of a record crowd for a Canadian national-team home game.
But the final few minutes of Canada’s World Cup qualifying match against Mexico was as noteworthy for the result – a 3-0 win for Mexico – as it was for the trio of disruptions by fans running onto the field, one of whom was detained by Team Canada staff.
However, BC Place spokesperson Laura Ballance said she was pleased with security efforts at the game.
“This is something that our security did a great job at ensuring that 55,000 people came and enjoyed a great soccer game and went home safely. That’s always job number one,” she said.
“We had a very boisterous, supportive crowd from the winning team, and I think unfortunately there was a small group of people that made some very bad decisions.”
Ballance said a standard event review would take place, but that fans interrupting the match will always be a possibility unless they significantly escalate security – something they are loathe to do.
“What we’ve seen in other parts of the world where this has been an issue [is] shoulder to shoulder security in order to prevent people getting on to the pitch, barb wire, moating, significant walls. We’ve always been very proud of the fact that hasn’t been an issue here,” she said.
“Do we think this is an issue in Vancouver like some other parts of the world? I think it probably was isolated to this particular group, who individually made some bad decisions.”
The fans detained by BC Place security were forwarded to the Vancouver Police Department and released. VPD Sgt. Randy Fincham said no decision on possible charges would be made this long weekend.