A "handful" of fans belonging to the Timbers Army, the main supporters' group for the Portland Timbers in MLS, have been banned from attending games at Providence Park for three matches, multiple sources have confirmed to ESPN.
The fans were banned for waving flags that show the Iron Front symbol, which violates MLS's prohibition on political signage in its stadiums. MLS has stated that the symbol is connected to the antifa movement and thus constitutes a link to a political organization. The Timbers Army contends that the image is intended to promote inclusion, anti-fascism and anti-racism.
One source added that the fans who have been sanctioned can appeal their bans if they so choose, and that the punishments could be reduced.
The Timbers directed all requests for comment about the bans to MLS, which didn't immediately respond.
Prior to the start of the season, MLS revised its Fan Code of Conduct, which now includes a ban on political signage. While the Code of Conduct doesn't mention the Iron Front flag specifically, fans from around the league were told prior to the season that it is prohibited.