Sports

Fans racially abused Weah after red card in US loss

Timothy Weah

The United States Soccer Federation condemned the online racist abuse suffered by several of its players following a 2-1 defeat by Panama at the Copa America.

Monaco striker Folarin Balogun, Crystal Palace defender Chris Richards and Juventus pair Timothy Weah and Weston McKennie were all targeted online after the hosts lost the Group C match in Atlanta.

Weah, 24, was shown a straight red card in the 18th minute after punching Panama’s Roderick Miller in the head in an off-the-ball incident.

The former Lille winger, who apologised to his team-mates for the incident, said it was a “moment of frustration”.

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US Soccer said in a statement on X: “There is absolutely no place in the game for such hateful and discriminatory behaviour.

“These actions are not only unacceptable but also contrary to the values of respect and inclusivity that we uphold as an organisation.”

Despite Panama’s numerical advantage, it was the US that took the lead at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium through a superb strike from Balogun – his fifth goal in 14 appearances for the US.

The lead lasted just four minutes as Cesar Blackman equalised from the edge of the box for Panama, who are 43rd in the Fifa world rankings.

The US, ranked 11th, defended admirably but Panama’s pressure told seven minutes from time as Jose Fajardo netted from close range.

Shortly before full-time, Panama were also reduced to 10 men when Adalberto Carrasquilla was shown a red card for a reckless swipe on winger Christian Pulisic.

The US, who co-host the men’s World Cup in 2026 with Canada and Mexico, are now level on points with Panama heading into their final group match against Uruguay on 2 July at 02:00 BST.

The US, who have a better goal difference, need to match Panama’s result against Bolivia to progress to the last 16.

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