A friendly match in Monterrey, Mexico between the Houston Dash and Tigres Feminil was marred at the end when Dash midfielder Sofia Huerta appeared to be groped by a fan while she was taking a selfie after the game was over.
The match was part of the NWSL’s continuing effort to grow the league’s audience, and was the league’s first-ever international friendly. After the photo of the fan assaulting Huerta started making the rounds on social media, both clubs involved released statements condemning the man.
Tigres issued a lengthy statement affirming their committed to “stamping out any form of harassment in our stadium and our community, including any situation that violates a woman’s dignity or seeks to intimidate, degrade, or offend women.” The club also apologized to Huerta and her family, as well as stating that it planned file a lawsuit against and ban the fan from Tigres games for life:
As a result of events that took place on Saturday, October 5, during which a “pseudo-fan” reportedly attempted to undermine the dignity of a Houston Dash player at the end of the match, we’ve decided to take action. We will file a lawsuit against whoever is responsible for what took place.
Once we identify this “pseudo-fan,” he will be banned for life from entering any of our facilities, and from attending any of our men’s or women’s games.
The Houston Dash echoed Tigres’ sentiment in their statement, also in Spanish, saying the club has “zero tolerance for what happened Saturday, and we believe that this behavior has no place in our game or in our society.”
Mexican sports outlet MedioTiempo reported that the club has since identified the man and filed a lawsuit against him at the prosecutor’s office. The local authorities have opened an investigation into the matter.
Huerta, who once played for the Mexican national team before making the switch to the USWNT, has not commented publicly about the incident.