DC United, Queretaro embroiled in bizarre dispute over missing cellphones from CONCACAF Champions League match

Ben Olsen - DC United - MLS Playoffs

D.C. United and Queretaro are embroiled in a bizarre controversy about some missing cellphones ahead of the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series at RFK Stadium on Tuesday night (8 pm ET; FS2, UDN).

D.C. claimed on Monday that several members of the team and support staff had their phones and cash stolen out of the locker room during their 2-0 loss at Queretaro in last week’s first leg. Head coach Ben Olsen spoke with reporters about the episode after Monday’s training session, and a club spokeswoman confirmed the claims to The Washington Post’s Steven Goff.

“Unfortunately, a handful of phones were stolen from the locker room during our match against Queretaro,” United spokeswoman Lindsay Simpson told the Post. “CONCACAF was made aware of the situation. The club has been very apologetic and has willingly offered to replace all of the stolen property.”

“It’s upsetting that stuff like that still goes down in CONCACAF,” added Olsen. “I’ve been going down to Central America for almost two decades, and stuff happens. It’s part of CONCACAF. It goes into the lore of this great CONCACAF exploration.

“No one likes to get their phone stolen. It’s a huge part of your lives now. It’s like someone stole your dog.”

It’s obviously an unfortunate situation, but it all sounded settled, right? Not so fast.

The Mexican club released a statement of their own on Tuesday contradicting D.C.’s claims, denying that any phones belonging to D.C. players or staff were stolen from the locker room at Estadio Corregidora.

In the statement, Queretaro claimed that D.C. had the only key to the away locker room and that footage from security cameras showed nothing untoward happening. The club suggested that the phones were stolen at a different location prior to the team’s arrival at the stadium, noting that a D.C. player used an app to locate his phone after it went missing and that the app indicated that the phone was in Mexico City – more than 125 miles from Queretaro.

Queretaro did state that they’re taking D.C. United at their word, and still plan on fully reimbursing any of the club’s players and staff members for the lost property.