Violence by Mexican fans: at least 22 injured and matches suspended after fighting in a high-profile game | Soccer News

At least 22 people were injured, two seriously, on Saturday when supporters brawled during a high-profile soccer match in Mexico.

The game between hosts Queretaro and defending league champions Atlas de Guadalajara was suspended in the 62nd minute when several fights broke out in the stands. Security personnel opened the gates to the pitch so that supporters, including women and children, could escape from the stands.

Players visiting Atlas quickly fled to the locker room, as did some from the Querétaro side. Other Querétaro players, including Uruguayan goalkeeper Washington Aguerre, remained close to the bench in an attempt to calm the fans down.

After several minutes, some of the fights moved to the field where they continued to punch and kick. Some people were armed with chairs and metal bars.

A fan could be seen pulling a knife to cut the nets off a goal. Others destroyed the bench on one side and some fought through the tunnel to the pitch.

So far, no deaths have been reported; 22 people were injured, nine of them were taken to the general hospital and among them, two are in critical condition, said the civil protection agency of the state of Querétaro. The rest is stable. All the injured are men and at the moment four of them have been confirmed to be from the state of Jalisco. Guadalajara is the capital of Jalisco.

The league condemned the violence in a post on its official Twitter account. League president Mikel Arriola said the game would not resume on Saturday. He said those responsible for the lack of security at the stadium would be punished.

Other matches continued on Saturday despite the violence, before all matches on Sunday were suspended.

Fan violence forced the suspension of Saturday’s top-flight game between Querétaro and Atlas FC in Mexico

Atlas has also had issues with fan violence recently. Last year’s Classic with crosstown rivals Chivas saw a brawl in the stands.

“Unfortunately what is happening in Queretaro… is happening in my country,” said Rafael Marquez, a former captain of the Mexican national team, who started his career with Atlas and later became their coach.

Graphic videos and photos have circulated on social media showing fans seemingly motionless on the ground, in some cases stripped naked and covered in blood.

Queretaro Governor Mauricio Kuri condemned the violence and said the owners of the Queretaro club should answer for what happened.

“I gave instructions for the law to be applied with all its consequences,” he said.

A statement from the Mexican Football Federation said: “The Mexican Football Federation regrets and condemns the events that took place this afternoon at the Estadio Corregidora in Queretaro, during the match between Queretaro and Atlas.

“Football must be a space of healthy cohabitation where any form of violence is inadmissible.

“The FMF will follow up and assist in the investigation process with the corresponding bodies so that those responsible are sanctioned in an exemplary manner.”

A statement from Atlas FC read: “Atlas FC regrets and disapproves of the events that took place at the Estadio Corregidora.

“Football must be an ally to promote values ​​and fun for the whole family.

“We call on the competent authorities, Liga BBVA MX and FMF, to investigate thoroughly and draw the ultimate consequences, determine the responsibilities of those involved and apply the full force of the law.”

Sky Sports

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