Rodrigo Bentancur involved in disgusting scenes as Tottenham star seen hurling bottle into crowd

The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder was shown appearing to throw a bottle into the crowd as trouble broke out after Uruguay’s Copa America exit

Darwin Nunez engages with Colombia fans in the stands after the CONMEBOL Copa America semi-final between Uruguay and Colombia at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte
Darwin Nunez engages with Colombia fans in the stands after the CONMEBOL Copa America semi-final between Uruguay and Colombia at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte

Tottenham midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur was shown in footage appearing to hurl a bottle into the crowd which seemed to strike a member of the Uruguay staff following his country’s Copa America exit.

Uruguay lost 1-0 in a fiery semi-final against Colombia in Charlotte, with the 27-year-old forced off in the first half with an injury after a collision with his own team-mate Mathias Olivera as both attempted a sliding tackle. Jefferson Lerma scored soon after the Spurs player’s departure from the pitch and it would prove to be the winning goal for Colombia.

However, there were unsavoury scenes to come after the final whistle when fans situated near the Uruguayan players’ families began to get out of control with Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez among those who jumped into the stands amid the trouble, with suggestions that bottles of drink had also been hurled at the Uruguay players.

Footage of the trouble appeared to show Bentancur then hurl a bottle from the touchline, which seemed to strike a member of the Uruguayan staff who had climbed up into the stands. Another angle showed a bottle smashing against the man’s head, dazing him and the staff member could later be seen with blood coming from a cut on his forehead.

A second video then appeared to show Bentancur throwing another object into the crowd before being ushered away by staff members.

It was reported by Uruguayan media that the players’ families were later escorted out of the stadium through a different exit to ensure their safety.

The incident comes the month after Bentancur made a public apology to his Spurs captain Son Heung-min after using a racial slur that the midfielder claimed was a “very bad joke” during an interview back in Uruguay.

His comments sparked outrage throughout the Korean community and outside of it with Kick It Out, the organisation which seeks to end racism and discrimination in sport, saying that it had “received a significant number of reports about Rodrigo Bentancur’s comments regarding his Tottenham team-mate Son Heung-min. These reports have already been sent to the club and relevant authorities. We recognise Bentancur has acknowledged the offence caused, however it highlights a wider issue that heavily affects East Asian and wider communities. We’ll be seeking to address these broader issues in the coming season”.

The FA are also investigating the comments with the possibility of a charge and potential ban for the Uruguayan. Spurs are dealing with the issue internally, although much of that will be governed by what the FA decide.

There are suggestions that the player could face a potential ban from international competition as the incident at the Copa America is also investigated.

Football federation CONMEBOL released a statement condemning the scenes, saying: “Our work is based on the conviction that soccer connects and unites us through its positive values. There is no place for intolerance and violence on and off the field. We invite everyone in the remaining days to pour all of their passion into cheering on their national teams and having an unforgettable party.”

In May, a frustrated Bentancur was seen furiously kicking his seat repeatedly in the dugout at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium after being substituted in the defeat against Manchester City. Spurs boss Ange Postecoglou admitted in his next press conference that he had had a private chat with the midfielder about it in the days after the game, saying “I don’t think that’s the way you react”.

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