11:33 PM ET
Saturday’s Liga MX match between Queretaro and Atlas was suspended following scenes of violence in the stands that spilled onto the pitch of the Estadio Corregidora in Santiago de Queretaro, Mexico.
During the 63rd minute of the match, fans sprinted onto the field to avoid fights that had broken out between supporters of the rival teams. With the score at 1-0 in favor of Atlas, referee Fernando Guerrero stopped the game as more fans began to seek safety on the field.
Guerrero suspended the match initially in hopes order would be restored. However, the violence continued to spread across the upper bowl of the stadium, which hosted World Cup games in 1986. After hundreds of fans continued to flood the field of play, Guerrero halted the game for good.
Pictures and videos shared on social media showed people being beaten, kicked and dragged while others had been left lying on the ground, covered in blood, in what appeared to be the seating area of the stadium.
Reuters could not independently verify the footage, which was also shown by local television channels.
Liga MX president Mikel Arriola called the violence “inadmissible” and promised there would be “exemplary punishments” doled out for those responsible before confirming that the remaining Liga MX matches for the weekend would not be played.
Following the suspension of the game, the state of Queretaro’s Civil Protection Coordination confirmed that 22 people had been injured, and nine people taken to the hospital — two of which are in critical condition.
Liga MX’s disciplinary committee also announced that they have started an investigation into the matter and will wait for more information to come through.
In a news conference on Sunday, Queretaro governor Mauricio Kuri said that 26 people in total required medical attention, 24 men and two women. Three have already been discharged and three remain in critical condition.
Liga MX representatives, led by Arriola, met with Kuri after the news conference. Arriola then visited the Queretaro hospital where the victims from Saturday’s incident are being cared for.
Later on Sunday, Arriola announced in a press conference that until further notice, away supporters’ groups will no longer be allowed in Liga MX matches. The league’s president added that Queretaro’s Estadio Corregidora will be suspended from holding games until the disciplinary committee hands out possible sanctions.
A potential disaffiliation from Liga MX for Queretaro isn’t ruled out either. “All scenarios are on the table,” said Arriola.
CONCACAF issued a statement on the incident as well, saying: “The shocking acts of vandalism and violence that occurred last night in Queretaro, Mexico, have no place in football or society. The thoughts of everyone at Concacaf are with the victims of these awful events, and their families.
“Concacaf wholly condemns these types of behaviors. We call on the local authorities to fully investigate these criminal acts, and to hold accountable those who have tarnished our game.
“The Confederation also believes that strong football sanctions must be applied and will provide any necessary support to the FMF and Liga MX as they investigate.”
FIFA also released a statement on the day after the violence seen in Liga MX.
“FIFA is shocked at the tragic incident that took place at La Corregidora stadium in the city of Queretaro during the fixture between Queretaro and Atlas. The violence was unacceptable and intolerable,” read the press release. “FIFA joins the Mexican Football Association and Concacaf in condemning this barbaric incident and encouraging the local authorities to bring swift justice to those responsible.
“Our thoughts are with all those who suffered its consequences. Once again FIFA would like to stress that violence should have absolutely no place in football and we will continue working with all parties to eradicate it from our game.”
Information from Reuters was used in this report.
original source: Fan brawl halts Liga MX match, dozens injured