NATIONAL CITY, Calif. (KGTV) - Hours before the Mexico-Sweden World Cup soccer match, police urged fans to not celebrate on the streets of National City.
According to National City police, fans have gathered on Highland Avenue after Mexico’s last two World Cup matches to celebrate and show support for the team. While police said most fans have celebrated peacefully, there were some who have “chosen to leave the safety of sidewalks and parking lots to celebrate in the roadways of traffic.”
Police are warning that “these types of actions are not only dangerous for fans, but motorists who may have to maneuver around fans and other vehicles.”
Police are informing the public in advance as the celebrations could have a big impact on businesses, commuters, and public transportation, saying, "we request the cooperation of soccer fans to celebrate responsibly and safely, to minimize the impact on others."
Saturday, following the team's 2-1 win over South Korea, fans spilled onto Highland Avenue, blocking traffic and disrupting bus service. National City PD barricaded the street from Plaza Boulevard to 16th, nearly a half mile.
Cell phone video showed dozens of fans waving Mexican flags and dancing in the streets. MTS bus service had to be rerouted to other streets for almost an hour.
An MTS spokesperson told 10News they plan to have a supervisor on Highland Avenue to monitor the crowd and determine if they need to adjust any bus routes or schedules.
Mexico is scheduled to play Sweden Wednesday at 7 a.m. Pacific time. Thus far in the World Cup, they have defeated Germany and South Korea.
Fans who celebrated Saturday say they think people will behave this time.
"People weren't doing anything ruthless or destroying things," says Danny Lopez, who was one of the fans on Highland. "If the police are going to let you come out here and be close to the streets and let you celebrate, just behave. There's no reason you couldn't do that."