CF Montreal closes ultras section of stadium after assaults, intimidation and unauthorized fireworks
Those attending upcoming CF Montreal games at Saputo Stadium can expect less smoke, less flares and less noise from the end of the pitch where the most rabid fans typically sit.
The MLS club announced Wednesday that section 132 is closed indefinitely after "repeated incidents of violence, physical and verbal aggression, intimidation and vandalism."
The club also reported that there have been numerous reports of unauthorized fireworks, smoke bombs and incendiary devices in the section where Montreal's ultras stand and chant.
"As of September 11, these groups are banned from any activities at Stade Saputo and in relation to any and all official team events and initiatives," the team wrote in a news release. "Several requests, restrictions and warnings have been issued to representatives of section 132 by the organization in recent years, to no avail."
Fermeture de la Section 132 au Stade Saputo pour une durée indéfinie >>> https://t.co/nJOTTRpKdw
Section 132 at Stade Saputo to be closed indefinitely >>> https://t.co/QOSdGGeWk0#CFMTL pic.twitter.com/Ov1tTucxG1
The release says that on Aug. 27 when Montreal lined up against bitter rivals Toronto FC, supporters in the section confronted Toronto fans, some of whom were "physically assaulted outside Stade Saputo."
Montreal fan Lea Alice Bouthillette became a supporter because of section 132. She supports the team's decision, but would have liked for individuals to be banned and not the whole section closed.
"Football was made for the working class [and] most fans are normal and the ultras are part of the fan base," she said. "On the ultras side, they need to learn how to self-manage section 132 in a way that it's safe."
Toronto FC has requested to not provide visiting Montreal fans tickets for the supporter section of the Oct. 23 game in Toronto.
"MLS is in full support of this as an exemption to the policy based on behaviour and increased risk," the release reads. "The league has indicated that further action against the Club and its fans could result if this type of behaviour continues."