Mexico City (AP) – At least 22 people were injured, including two in critical condition, on Saturday when fans quarreled during a football match in central Mexico.
The match between the host of Keretaro and Atlas of Guadalajara – the reigning champion of the league – was interrupted in the 62nd minute, when many fights broke out in the stands. Security guards opened the gates to the field so that fans, including women and children, could leave the stands.
Players from visiting Atlas quickly escaped to the locker room, as did some from Keretar. Other Keretaro players, including Uruguay goalkeeper Washington Ager, stayed near the bench, trying to reassure fans.
A few minutes later, some fights moved to the field, where they continued to punch and kick. Some people were armed with chairs and metal bars.
It was seen as one fan pulled a knife to cut the nets of one gate. Others destroyed a bench on one side, and some fought in a tunnel to the field.
“There are no reports of casualties yet; 22 people were injured, nine of them were taken to a general hospital, and two of them are in critical condition, ”the state civil protection agency Keretara said. “The rest are stable. It should be noted that all the victims are men, and at the moment it is confirmed that four were from the state of Jalisco.
Guadalajara is the capital of the state of Jalisco.
The league condemned the violence in a message on its official Twitter account. League president Mikel Ariola has said the game will not resume on Saturday. He said those guilty of insecurity at the stadium would be punished.
Atlas also recently had problems with violence among its supporters. Last year, the “classic” with a competitor in the city of Chivas saw a fight in the stands.
“Unfortunately, what is happening in Queréta … is happening in my country,” said Rafael Marquez, a former captain of the Mexican national team, who began his career at Atlas and later became its coach.
Graphic videos and photos have been spread on social networks, showing fans motionless on the ground, in some cases stripped naked and covered in blood.
Keretaro Governor Mauricio Curie condemned the violence and said the owners of Keretaro’s club would have to answer for what happened.
“I have instructed to apply the law with all its consequences,” he said.