Soccer game

22 injured in melee between rival fans at soccer match in Mexico

Queretaro and Atlas fans square off on Saturday for a Mexican Soccer League MX match at Corregidora Stadium in Queretaro, Mexico. Photo by Enrique Contla/EPA-EFE

March 6 (UPI) — Twenty-two people were injured, two seriously, in violent clashes between supporters of the two teams during a football match at the Corregidora stadium in central Mexico.

In Querétaro on Saturday afternoon, referee Fernando Guerrero stopped the game in the 63rd minute with the host leading visiting Atlas 1-0. Atlas is the defending champion in Mexico’s Liga MX league, which suspended all games on Sunday,

Spectators had run onto the field, according to news reports and videos from the scene. Men were seen dragging people across the concrete outside the stadium, kicking, beating and ripping their clothes off. Another topless man was beaten and whipped.

“I strongly condemn today’s violence at the Corregidora stadium,” said Mauricio Kuri, governor of Querétaro state. posted on Twitter. “The company that owns Gallos and the institutions must answer for the facts. I have given instructions to apply the law with all its consequences.”

La Liga MX has launched “a thorough investigation into what happened in the stands, on the pitch and outside the building during the game,” the league said in a statement.

“The violence at the Corregidora stadium in Querétaro is unacceptable and regrettable,” said executive chairman Mikel Arriola. posted on Twitter. “There will be an exemplary punishment for those responsible for the lack of security in the stadium. The safety of our players and supporters comes first.”

The Disciplinary Commission of the Mexican Football Federation has also announced the opening of an investigation.

Last year there was violence during a game between Atlas and local rivals Chivas among the fans.

In October 2019, a game between Querétaro and Atletico de San Luis was suspended after several spectators were injured in clashes.

In 2015, Atlas fans flooded the pitch against Chivas with 10 arrested and at least nine injured.

The stadium hosted the World Cup matches in 1986.