Violent riot in Colombia’s first post-pandemic football match leaves four fans, four police officers injured
- At least four people were arrested and two supporters and four police officers were injured in a riot at El Campín stadium in Bogotá, Colombia on Monday.
- The stadium, home of the local Santa Fe team, welcomed spectators for the first time in 17 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic for a game against Atlético Nacional
- Santa Fe fan Edison Romario was caught on camera being beaten up by at least five Atlético Nacional supporters.
- Romario was diagnosed with a brain injury and remained hospitalized on Wednesday
- Bogotá Mayor Claudia López announced on Wednesday that Julián Mateo Molina, seen on video kicking Romario, had surrendered
The long-awaited return of spectators to the Nemesio Camacho stadium in the Colombian capital was marred by violence as rival supporters clashed in Tuesday night’s game between the local team of Santa Fe and Atletico Nacional de Medellin.
Bogotá Metropolitan Police said two fans and four police officers were injured. Four rioters were arrested, but were released a few hours later.
Surveillance cameras in the hall captured the moment when Santa Fe fan Edison Romario was brutally beaten by at least five Atlético Nacional supporters.
Romario suffered a brain injury and remains hospitalized at Meredí Hospital. Two other people were also injured and taken to medical centers in the area.
Mayor Claudia López announced on Wednesday that Julián Mateo Molina, one of the individuals who assaulted Romario, had surrendered.
Molina appears in the video jumping over a row of seats at the Nemesio Camacho stadium, also known as “El Campín”, and stomping on Romario’s head while lying on the ground.
Julián Mateo Molina (pictured left with the white and green striped jersey) approaches Edison Romario (pictured with the red jersey lying on the seat) as Atlético Nacional supporters attacked him on Tuesday night during a match at the local club’s stadium, Santa Fe, in Bogotá, Colombia. Romario, who was diagnosed with a brain injury, was one of six people injured in the clash before the end of the first half. The match resumes with a 1-0 victory for Atlético Nacional
Edison Romario (left) was rushed to Meredí hospital on Tuesday evening. He suffered a brain injury and remains hospitalized
The match was the first after 17 months of restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing around 8,500 fans in El Campín, Bogota’s main football venue, although other stadiums across the country have hosted fans in matches since mid-July.
López, who was in attendance, announced that it will also be the last game with fans for some time due to the disruption. She said spectators would once again be banned indefinitely from El Campín and the smaller Techo stadium in the capital.
“So many dreams of returning to Campín and they are doing it. Unacceptable!’ the mayor tweeted. “We rejected and condemned it! “
Fans of Atlético Nacional attack Santa Fe fan Edison Romario at El Campín stadium in Bogotá, Colombia on Tuesday night. The match was the first after 17 months of restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing around 8,500 fans in El Campín, Bogota’s main football venue, although other stadiums across the country have hosted fans in matches since mid-July.
Colombian police help a woman cross the fence as supporters of the Santa Fe and Atlético Nacional teams clash at El Campín stadium in Bogotá, Colombia on Tuesday evening. The stadium welcomed supporters for the first time in 17 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, no fans will be allowed in the future.
The riots started shortly before the end of the first half when fan clubs from Atlético Nacional stormed an area where Santa Fe supporters were seated.
Many supporters then invaded the field, imposing a delay of about 50 minutes.
League president Fernando Jaramillo and other officials considered suspending the match, but allowed it to continue due to a “security issue, which seems absurd,” Colombian media outlet Noticias Caracol reported.
“But it was a matter of reinforcements (law enforcement officers) arriving, that we can control the situation on the outside,” Jaramillo said.
Atlético Nacional ultimately beat Santa Fe 1-0.
Julián Mateo Molina surrendered to authorities in Bogotá, Colombia, for his role in a riot at El Campín stadium on Tuesday evening. Still images and video captured him beating a fan
Julián Mateo Molina is pictured assaulting a defenseless Edison Romario during a clash between supporters of home side Santa Fe and visiting club Atlético Nacional at El Campín stadium in Bogotá, Colombia , Tuesday