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Real Officials Defend Decision to Throw Fans Out

Real Officials Defend Decision to Throw Fans Out



Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

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Paul Nelson, KSL NewsradioReal Salt Lake Officials are defending their decision to throw out some fans during last night's international game against China.

You can see the video on RSLFM.com. At the 70th minute of the game, Tibetan flags almost caused the game to stop altogether.

RSL Communications Director Trey Fitzgerald says, "First one player and then several other players chose to not participate further."

China's Ji Mingyi and Real Salt Lake's Kyle Brown vie for a header during the first half of their soccer friendly Thursday, June 7, 2007, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)
China's Ji Mingyi and Real Salt Lake's Kyle Brown vie for a header during the first half of their soccer friendly Thursday, June 7, 2007, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac)

Fitzgerald says fans cited their right to free speech to wave the flags, but he says the team rents Rice-Eccles Stadium for the games, and they are allowed to throw fans out for disrupting the game.

"We are given the right to make that request because it is a private event held at Rice-Eccles Stadium," Fitzgerald said.

Still, fans say the team is just kissing up to the Chinese government.

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