At least, 22 people were wounded when violence erupted Saturday in the stands of a Mexican football match, which was called off when the clash spilled onto the field.
The game between Queretaro and Atlas at La Corregidora stadium in the city of Queretaro — the ninth round of the 2022 Clausura football tournament — was in its 63rd minute when fights between opposing fans broke out.
As security guards opened the stadium doors to allow fans to get to safety, some instead continued to exchange blows, forcing the game to be stopped and sending the players to the locker room.
Chaotic scenes unfolded, with fans tumbling over each other and others cowering under a shower of furious kicks and punches.
A VAR monitor was destroyed during the clashes, with images posted to social media showing injured fans lying prostrate.
“There is no report of people dead, 22 people injured… two of them seriously,” the civil protection for the state of Queretaro said hours after the match was called off.
Liga MX president Mikel Arriola slammed the events on Twitter: “Those responsible for the lack of security at the stadium will be exemplarily punished. The safety of our players and fans is priority!”
In a video posted on social networks, Arriola announced that all matchday games due to be played Sunday were suspended “in solidarity with the people affected” and to prevent any repetition.
Atlas demanded in a statement that authorities and the league open an investigation into the fight in order to determine “responsibilities to those involved” and ensure “the full force of the law will be applied.”
The Queretaro club also condemned the violence in a statement and said it was in contact with the authorities so that “they act vigorously against anyone responsible.”
Queretaro governor Marucio Kuri said the owners of the club “and institutions must answer for the facts.”
“I have given instructions for the law to be applied with all its consequences,” he tweeted.