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Bored Dallas Soccer Fans Staged a Pitch Invasion at Real Madrid versus Roma Last Night

A Palestine supporter on the field, wrapping himself in the flag as he was handcuffed and led away.
A Palestine supporter on the field, wrapping himself in the flag as he was handcuffed and led away.
Jorge Corona

The Cotton Bowl was filled with 57,000-plus soccer fans last night, there to see some of the world's greatest footballers do some very mediocre footballing.

It was slow and scoreless for the first hour or so, until Roma's Francesco Totti scored at the 58-minute mark. Fans were irritated and bored by then, though, and disappointed that Ronaldo spent the game in his sweatpants on the Real Madrid bench.

With just three minutes left on the clock, several fans had had enough: One young guy ran on the field toward Ronaldo. After he was given just a rough shove and wag of the finger, many were encouraged by the lack of punishment. Altogether, around 20 fans, mostly young men, stormed the field.

The crowd quickly became more interested in cat-and-mouse game between several cops and fans than in the actual game. One guy ran up to Real Madrid's Isco for a quick selfie before casually jogging away from a slow-moving, slightly overweight policeman.

Several field invaders were kids running up to their favorite players. One enveloped Real Madrid's goalkeeper, Diego Lopez, in a bear hug before sprinting back to his seat. Several others managed to get autographs before security sauntered up.

In a dramatic statement, one man ran across the field with a Palestinian flag in his hands. Many other Palestinian flags, and a few Israeli flags, popped out from several supporters as the crowd displayed their political colors. This man was handcuffed and led off the field.

Around ten minutes after the invasion began, order was restored and the game continued. After the game, which included five minutes of extra time, a security guard found the situation funny in retrospect, saying there was no way he could have caught up with the sprinters.

"The boss came out after the game and was like, 'You let all those kids come down?'" He laughed. "I'm like, 'Yeah, I'm 54, they're 18. What do you expect?'" One Reddit commenter put it best: "This is why we can't have nice things, Dallas."

A young guy easily scaling the flimsy barrier to the field.
A young guy easily scaling the flimsy barrier to the field.
Jorge Corona

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