At least 22 people were injured, two seriously, on Saturday when supporters brawled during a football match in central Mexico.
The game between host Queretaro and Atlas de Guadalajara – the defending league champions – 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 fatalities have been reported; 22 people have been injured, nine of them taken to General Hospital and of these two are in critical condition,” the civil protection agency said. of the State of Querétaro. “The others are stable. It should be mentioned that all the injured are men and at the moment four have been confirmed to be from Jalisco state.” Guadalajara is the capital of Jalisco. The league condemned the violence in a post on its official Twitter account. League president Mikel Arriola later said the game would not resume on Saturday. He said those responsible for the lack of security at the stadium would be punished.
Atlas has also had issues with fan violence recently. Last year, the “classic” with crosstown rival Chivas saw a brawl in the stands.
“Unfortunately, what is happening in Querétaro…is happening in my country,” said Rafael Márquez, a former captain of the Mexican national team who started his career with Atlas and later became its 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.
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